Expanding coverage via tax credits: Trade-offs and outcomes

Mark Pauly, Bradley Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we discuss various options for using refundable tax credits to reduce the number of uninsured persons. The effect of tax credits on the number of uninsured depends on the form of the credit scheme adopted. Moreover, since large subsidies for private insurance directed to low-income persons have never been implemented, there is considerable uncertainty about the effect of various tax credit proposals. We find that small credits will do little to reduce the number of uninsured but that credits covering about half of the premium for a benchmark policy might have a significant effect, especially if they take a fixed-dollar form and can be used for policies with few restrictions. Finally, we discuss the normative issues surrounding the "costs" of these credits schemes, and the policy issues raised by the uncertainty of the effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-26
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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