Employer choices of family premium sharing. uri icon


  • In 1997, nearly two-thirds of married couples with children under age 18 were dual-earner couples. Such families may have a variety of insurance options available to them. If so, declining a high employee premium contribution may be a mechanism for one spouse to take money wages in lieu of coverage while the other spouse takes coverage rather than high wages. Employers may use these preferences and the size of premium contributions to encourage workers to obtain family coverage through their spouse. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of labor force composition, particularly the proportion of dual-earner couples in the labor market, on the marginal employee premium contribution (marginal EPC) for family coverage. We analyze data from the 1997-2001 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey--Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) List Sample of private establishments. We find strong evidence that the marginal EPC for family coverage is higher when there is a larger concentration of women in the workforce, but only in markets with a higher proportion of dual-earner households.

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Vistnes, J. P., Morrisey, M. A., & Jensen, G. A.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Vistnes, Jessica Primoff||Morrisey, Michael A||Jensen, Gail A