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The Role of Public Employers in a Changing Health Care Market

Public Employers' Responses to Continued Premium Increases May Have Important Spillover Effects on Private Stakeholders

January/February 2003
Health Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 1
Carolyn A. Watts, Jon B. Christianson, Lance Heineccius, Sally Trude

Public employers provide health insurance coverage to nearly 16 percent of all U.S. workers. Their reactions to rapidly rising premiums can have an important effect on local markets for health insurance because of their size, their visibility and their reflection of public policy. However, public employers are constrained in their responses by tight budgets set by elected officials and statutes regarding due process, public input and public accountability. As insurance markets consolidate and premiums continue to increase, public employers face tough choices regarding employee benefits.

Free access to this article is available at the Health Affairs Web site.


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.