In the United States, more than one-third of all workers receive coverage through employer-sponsored health insurance.
That’s not surprising, given that health insurance is often considered the single most important source of coverage in the US economy.
Workers also have to contend with higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, which can leave them vulnerable to medical bills that can add up.
But what’s not so clear is how insurance companies can protect their employees’ health when they don’t get it from their employers.
And a new paper from researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) sheds light on just that.
“The key point is that there are ways to minimize health care costs and minimize the impact of those costs on workers,” says co-author of the paper Jennifer Kagan.
Kagan is an assistant professor of health policy at UTHSC and a fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
In the paper, Kagan and co-authors describe how insurance company contracts can improve worker health, and suggest ways that they might do so.
“Health insurance is an important part of our economy and, as such, should be treated with the same level of respect and concern that other important investments, such as infrastructure, are,” says Kagan, whose research focuses on health insurance markets.
She and coauthor Eric Hargrove have developed a model that they say can predict the effect of a company’s health insurance policies on the health of their workers.
The model was developed using data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) National Health Insurance Database (NHID), which contains more than 7.5 million individual data points for employees’ insurance claims.
This dataset is widely used in the health insurance industry to identify insurance company policies that might have an effect on employees’ medical costs.
Kagann and Hargrobve then used the model to develop a simulation for the health care market.
The simulation is based on data from NHID’s Health Insurance Industry Survey (HIIIS), a longitudinal survey of health insurance and other market activities conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The HIIIS is one of the largest survey datasets available for the U.S. market, and its results are used to develop insurance contracts.
Using the HIIES data, Kagan and Hagerve developed an insurance contract that they called “The Uninsured” that could be used to determine how insurance firms respond to workers’ health care needs.
The Uninsured is a generic model that can predict how insurance providers respond to worker health care.
Using data from HIIIs HIII, the researchers determined how the health plan in a hypothetical scenario would respond to a worker’s needs.
KAGAN and HAGROVE then used their Uninsured model to simulate the health plans of the companies covered by their models, and found that the Uninsured can predict an average cost of premiums for workers’ plans to be lower than for their competitors’ plans.
This finding has important implications for how health insurance plans are set up and how they are financed.
For example, if a company sets up a health plan that covers all its employees, and the workers choose to keep their plan, the cost of covering all of its workers could increase.
This could increase costs for workers, because insurance plans tend to be more expensive to maintain and provide coverage to workers who choose to remain with their employer.
This increase in the cost to the health insurer could make the health benefits they offer less effective and could lead to higher out-and-out premiums for employees who do not opt to keep the health coverage.
But KAGANS and HIGROBVE found that by choosing to continue with the health benefit plans that are more expensive, employers would have a lower overall cost for health care for their workers, and thus lower premiums for their employees.
If workers choose not to continue their plans, then the cost per person would increase, but the overall cost to workers would remain the same.
Employers that have a higher health benefit plan, on the other hand, could offer workers a cheaper plan that does not increase the costs for them, but still provides a higher level of health coverage for all of their employees, the authors said.
They found that when insurance companies offered health benefits to all employees, their costs per employee were lower than the costs of similar plans offered by competitors.
But if workers opted out of their health benefits plans, the costs per worker were lower, and this lower cost could lead insurers to offer plans that do not provide health benefits at all.
KEGAN and HAGROBVE concluded that, if workers choose a health benefit that does provide health coverage, their health care is less likely to increase the cost for employers to cover their employees and to charge higher premiums for health insurance for workers.
And by providing the same health benefit to all workers, the insurance company will have fewer employees that