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Declining Employer-Sponsored Coverage
The Role of Public Programs and Implications for Access to Care
sing data from the 1996-97 Community Tracking Study household survey, this study examines the effects of public programs on the decision to "take-up" employer coverage when offered, vs. enrolling in public coverage or being uninsured. The results show that-among those with access to employer-sponsored coverage-low income persons living in states with more expansive eligibility for Medicaid were more likely to decline employer coverage in favor of public coverage, while low income persons in areas with public hospitals were more likely to decline coverage in favor of being uninsured. While persons who decline employer coverage in favor of public coverage maintain the same level of access to medical care, those who decline coverage in favor of being uninsured give up a considerable degree of access. Implications concerning policies to improve access to care for the uninsured are discussed.
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