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Author: Maxwell, Nan L. ; Paringer, Lynn
Working Paper: Employer-Based Health Insurance and Worker Skills (PDF) ; March 2005

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This paper examines the impact of labor market incentives on the probability that low-skilled workers will receive offers of employment-based health insurance. We demonstrate that firms are more likely to offer employment-based health insurance in entry-level jobs when the skills for which they are recruiting are in short supply relative to demand. Our empirical analysis supports this contention using two databases of California workers: the California Work and Health Surveys and the Bay Area Longitudinal Surveys. Our results suggest that policies designed to decrease uninsurance rates should focus on providing skills to individuals that might not be able to gain employment in a firm that offers health benefits.