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Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Mandated Benefit Laws

Gail A. Jensen and Michael A. Morrisey
The Milbank Quarterly
Vol. 77, No. 4 (1999), pp. 425-459
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Milbank Memorial Fund
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3350570
Page Count: 35
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Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Mandated Benefit Laws
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Abstract

Regulations for the content of private health plans, called mandated benefit laws, are widespread and growing in the United States, at both state and federal levels. Three aspects of these laws are examined: their current scope; some economic reasons for their existence; and the theory and empirical evidence for their effects in health insurance markets. A growing body of literature suggests that society is paying a high price for enhanced coverage via mandated benefits. These laws increase insurance premiums, cause declines in wages and other fringe benefits, and lead some employers and their workers to forgo health benefits altogether. The cost of mandated benefit laws falls disproportionately on workers in small firms.

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