Employer Mandates

Three quarters of the uninsured are either workers or dependents of workers. An employer mandate provides a convenient way to cover large numbers of uninsured while at the same time minimizing the cost to state government. If employees value the benefit, mandated benefits can be more efficient than direct subsidies since the latter have deadweight losses from taxation; if employees fully value the benefit, wages would fall to completely offset the cost to the employer, in which case there is no efficiency loss (Gruber 1992). The Duke Center for Health Policy has developed a draft working paper assessing the costs and benefits of employer mandates for health insurance (pdf).


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