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Individual Health Insurance: Fact, Opinion and Policy

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Registration and coffee at 8:00 a.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel
400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

HSC and Health Affairs are cosponsoring an important national conference titled "Individual Health Insurance: Fact, Opinion, and Policy" featuring some of the nation's leading experts on this topic. Panelists will discuss what is working and what is not working in the individual insurance market and examine proposals for change and expansion, and we would like you to join us and participate.

The individual or "non-group" health insurance market has been a haven for millions of Americans in need of coverage but ineligible for either employer-based insurance or public programs. Nearly 10 million people depend on this market for their primary coverage in any given year, millions more consider buying it, and many move in and out of it throughout the year. For years now federal and state policy makers have been examining ways to build on this market to help expand the number of Americans with health insurance. Proposals for tax credits that may be used in the non-group market, as well as for expanded high-risk insurance pools that might affect the performance of the larger non-group market, are pending in Congress and in a number of states.

Still, the individual insurance market is perhaps the most controversial of all health insurance venues in the United States. While many individuals do obtain coverage at moderate cost, others are offered high premiums or coverage restrictions that make some analysts and advocates reluctant to agree to use this market as the primary basis for coverage expansion policy in this country.

This conference is being held in conjunction with the release of a Web-exclusive issue of Health Affairs featuring more than a dozen articles exploring the individual health insurance market. It will be moderated by HSC President Paul Ginsburg and Health Affairs Founding Editor John Iglehart. Many of the authors of the articles, listed below, are going to present their research and views at the conference.

  • Mark McClellan, Council of Economic Advisors and Kate Baicker, Dartmouth
  • Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania and Len Nichols, HSC
  • Tom Miller, Cato and Scott Harrington, University of South Carolina
  • Karen Pollitz, Georgetown and Richard Sorian, HSC
  • Janet Trautwein, National Association of Health Underwriters
  • Kathy Swartz, Harvard
  • Bruce Abbe, Communicating for Agriculture
  • Deborah Chollet, Mathematica Policy Research

HSC also has invited respondents to each group of papers, including health plan executives, actuaries, senior congressional staff, and state insurance commissioners. Jack Hadley and Jim Reschovsky of HSC will also present new estimates of premiums different people would likely face in the non-group market.


Individual Health Insurance: Fact, Opinion and Policy

Conference Transcript


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