Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS)
How much does health insurance cost? Comparison of premiums in administrative and survey data
Jeff Larrimore and David Splinter
Using newly available administrative data from the Internal Revenue Service, this paper studies the distribution of employer-sponsored health insurance premiums. Previous estimates, in contrast, were almost exclusively from household surveys. After correcting for coverage limitations of the IRS data, we find that average premiums for employer-sponsored plans are roughly $1000 higher in IRS records than in the Current Population Survey. The downward bias in the CPS is largely driven by underestimating of premiums among married workers and topcoding of high premiums.
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Keywords: CPS, Employer Sponsored Health Insurance, IRS data, Topcoding
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