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Do people really have multiple health insurance plans? Estimates of Nongroup Health Insurance in the American Community Survey

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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP2011-28


This paper investigates the estimates of multiple types of coverage in the working-age adult population from the American Community Survey (ACS). Due to the costs associated with private health insurance and the eligibility restrictions associated with public coverage, it is unlikely that a person has multiple types of comprehensive coverage at a single point in time. This paper shows that ACS is capturing more information than just comprehensive health insurance coverage. The likelihood that a person has nongroup coverage and employer-based insurance goes up with income. For nongroup coverage and Medicaid, there were only small, but significant, marginal effects. One of the robust regression results is that the write-in option for people with multiple types of coverage is large. This suggests that the write-in option is part of the reason that ACS has higher nongroup insurance than other surveys.


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