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Home > For the Media Home > Biosketches > By Topic > Costs of Health Insurance

Biosketches - Costs of Health Insurance

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Research in the Costs of Health Insurance section answers such questions as: How does the unemployment rate affect health insurance coverage? Why does the cost of insurance continue to rise, and why are employees paying so much more? What are the economic consequences of being uninsured?
Chernew, Michael
Cutler, David
Gruber, Jonathan
Kapur, Kanika Keenan, Patricia
Levy, Helen
McKnight, Robin
McKnight, Robin
McLaughlin, Catherine
Pauly, Mark V.

Dr. Chernew is Professor at the University of Michigan in the department of Health Management and Policy. He also has appointments in the departments of Internal Medicine, and Economics. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, where his training focused on areas of applied microeconomics and econometrics. Dr. Chernew is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Managed Care and Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Scholars in Health Policy Research program at the University of Michigan. One major area of Dr. Chernew's research focuses on assessing the impact of managed care on the health care marketplace, with an emphasis on examining the impact of managed care on health care cost growth and on the use of medical technology. In 2000 and 2004, he served on technical advisory panels for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that reviewed the assumptions used by the Medicare actuaries to assess the financial status of the Medicare trust funds. On the panels Dr. Chernew focused on the methodology used to project trends in long term health care cost growth. Other research has examined determinants of patient choice of hospital and the impact of health plan performance measures on employee and employer selection of health plans. In 1998, he was awarded the John D. Thompson Prize for Young investigators by the Association of University Programs in Public Health. In 1999, he received the Alice S. Hersh, Young Investigator Award from the Association of Health Services Research. Both of these awards recognize overall contribution to the field of health services research. Dr. Chernew is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and he is on the Editorial Boards of Health Services Research, Health Affairs, and Medical Care Research and Review.

David Cutler is Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the economics of health care. He served in 1993 as Senior Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers and Director of the National Economic Council. Cutler was primarily involved in drafting the Clinton Administration's health care reform proposal. He also served on several government advisory panels, including groups at the National Institutes of Health, the Social Security Administration, and the Health Care Financing Administration. Currently, he is examining the sources of cost growth in medical care, the productivity of the medical system, and the relationship between public provision of medical care and private insurance coverage. Cutler is also an editor of the Journal of Health Economics. He received his BA in economics from Harvard in 1987 and his PhD in economics from MIT in 1991. He lives in Boston, where he enjoys running, ultimate Frisbee, walking along the Charles River, and reading history.

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Program on Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics , and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Health Economics.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. He has received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a FIRST award from the National Institute on Aging, and the Kenneth Arrow Award for the Best Paper in Health Economics in 1994. He was also one of 15 scientists nationwide to receive the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from the National Science Foundation in 1995. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department.

Dr. Gruber's research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. His recent areas of particular interest include the economics of employer provided health insurance, the efficiency of our current system of delivering health care to the indigent, the effect of the Social Security program on retirement behavior, and the economics of smoking.

Kanika Kapur is an economist with RAND in Santa Monica, California. She received her Ph.D. in 1997 from Northwestern University and her B.A. in 1992 from Dartmouth College. Her research interests span several areas of health and labor economics. She has authored several studies that examine the labor market implications of employer provided health insurance. She has also studied the role of individual health insurance market in reaching the uninsured. In other work, she has examined the determinants of health expenditures, including the importance of health plan structure and the role of socio-economic and racial characteristics.

Patricia Seliger Keenan is a postdoctoral fellow in Aging and Health Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Next year, she will be an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health. She received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University in 2005. Her research focuses on health insurance markets, aging policy, and health care regulation and politics.

Helen G. Levy is Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and an Assistant Research Scientist at the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured. Her interests include health and labor economics. Her most recent work explores trends in health insurance coverage for low-skilled adults and the consequences of being uninsured for access to medical care.

Levy received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 1998. From 1998 to 2000, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California at Berkeley. She has served as a research analyst for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Robin McKnight is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Prior to joining the UO faculty in 2003, she earned a PhD in economics at MIT and held a post-doctoral fellowship in the economics of aging and health at the NBER. Her research interests span the fields of public economics and health economics, including issues that arise from government intervention in health insurance markets, such as through Medicare reimbursement policy.

Dr. McLaughlin is a Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy and the Director of the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured (ERIU) at the University of Michigan. ERIU, a five-year initiative funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been conducting and disseminating research aimed at increasing our understanding of the interaction between health and labor market dynamics and the uninsured. In addition, Dr. McLaughlin is the director of the University of Michigan component of the Agency for Health Care Policy Research's Center of Excellence on Managed Care Markets and Quality directed by Harold Luft at University of California, San Francisco. The projects being pursued at Michigan focus on the dynamic interaction between plan performance measures, market structure, and employer behavior.

Dr. McLaughlin is also currently the Vice-Chair of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group and a Senior Associate Editor of Health Services Research. From 1993 to 2003 she was the Director of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at Michigan. Her current research interests are focused on the uninsured, managed care, market competition, and employer and employee benefit choice.

Dr. McLaughlin has studied various health economics topics. She has published numerous articles on the impact of HMOs on market competition and health care costs, the determinants of small area variation in hospital utilization and costs, and issues surrounding the working uninsured. Recent publications include: “The Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of a Copayment Increase on the Utilization and Expenditures of Prescription Drugs,” in Inquiry, “Donated Care Programs: A Stopgap Measure or a Long-Run Alternative to Health Insurance?” in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, “Quality and Employers' Choice of Health Plans,” in Journal of Health Economics, "Causes and Consequences of Lack of Health Insurance: Gaps in Our Knowledge," in Health Policy and the Uninsured , Urban Institute Press; "Who Walks Through the Door? The Effect of the Uninsured" in Health Affairs; "Medigap Premiums and Medicare HMO Enrollment" in Health Services Research; "The Who, What, and How of Managed Care," The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; "Health Care Consumers: Choices and Constraints" in Medical Care Research and Review, "Competition, Quality of Care, and The Role of Consumers," in The Milbank Quarterly, and "The Demand for Health Insurance Coverage by Low-Income Workers: Can Reduced Premiums Achieve Full Coverage?," in Health Services Research.

Professor McLaughlin received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Alan C. Monheit is Professor, School of Public Health, Department of Health Systems and Policy, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is also a Research Professor at the UMDNJ Center for Health Economics and Health Policy and at Rutgers University's Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research and its Center for State Health Policy. He has held research positions at the Boston University's Health Policy Institute and School of Medicine and was also Director of the Division of Social and Economic Research in the Center for Cost and Financing Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Monheit's research interests include the relationship between employment and health insurance, health insurance dynamics, the uninsured population, the distribution of health care expenditures, regulation of health insurance markets, and children's access to health care. He is an editor and contributor to Informing American Health Care Policy: The Dynamics of Medical Expenditure and Insurance Surveys, 1987 - 1996 and State Insurance Market Reform: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Health Insurance Markets. Dr. Monheit received the first Administrator's Award for Health Services Research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and is a Fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute and a member of the National Academy of Social insurance.

Mark V. Pauly currently holds the position of Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received the Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is Professor of Health Care Systems, Insurance and Risk Management and Business and Public Policy, at the Wharton School and Professor of Economics, in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pauly is a former commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission and an active member of the Institute of Medicine. One of the nationís leading health economists, Dr. Pauly has made significant contributions to the fields of medical economics and health insurance. His classic study on the economics of moral hazard was the first to point out how health insurance coverage may affect patientsí use of medical services. Subsequent work, both theoretical and empirical, has explored the impact of conventional insurance coverage on preventive care, on outpatient care, and on prescription drug use in managed care. He is currently studying the effect of poor health on worker productivity. In addition, he has explored the influences that determine whether insurance coverage is available and, through several cost effectiveness studies, the influence of medical care and health practices on health outcomes and cost. His interests in health policy deal with ways to reduce the number of uninsured through tax credits for public and private insurance, and appropriate design for Medicare in a budget-constrained environment. Dr. Pauly is a co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. He has served on Institute of Medicine panels on public accountability for health insurers under Medicare and on improving the supply of vaccines.