Including Health Insurance in Poverty Measurement: The Impact of Massachusetts Health Reform on Poverty

67 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Sanders Korenman

Sanders Korenman

City University of New York (CUNY) - School of Public Affairs; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dahlia Remler

City University of New York - Baruch College - Marxe School of Public and International Affairs; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

We develop and implement what we believe is the first conceptually valid health-inclusive poverty measure (HIPM)—a measure that includes health care or insurance in the poverty needs threshold and health insurance benefits in family resources—and we discuss its limitations. Building on the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, we construct a pilot HIPM for the under-65 population under ACA-like health reform in Massachusetts. This pilot is intended to demonstrate the practicality, face validity and value of a HIPM. Results suggest that public health insurance benefits and premium subsidies accounted for a substantial, one-third reduction in the poverty rate. Among low-income families who purchased individual insurance, premium subsidies reduced poverty by 9.4 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

Korenman, Sanders and Remler, Dahlia, Including Health Insurance in Poverty Measurement: The Impact of Massachusetts Health Reform on Poverty (February 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w21990, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732467

Sanders Korenman (Contact Author)

City University of New York (CUNY) - School of Public Affairs ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Dahlia Remler

City University of New York - Baruch College - Marxe School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

135 E 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

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