Health insurance coverage of the unemployed: COBRA and the potential effects of Kassebaum-Kennedy

Mark C. Berger, Dan A. Black, Frank A. Scott, Amitabh Chandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We use the April 1993 Current Population Survey to examine the health insurance coverage decisions of the unemployed and to simulate the potential effects of the new Kassebaum-Kennedy legislation. After controlling for demographic characteristics, COBRA eligibility raises the probability of health insurance coverage by 0.095, while eligibility for spouse employer insurance increases the likelihood of coverage by 0.318, and eligibility for both increases the likelihood of coverage by 0.341. In our simulations, we find that had Kassebaum-Kennedy been in effect in April 1993, 9.0 percent of the unemployed would be eligible to take up coverage, and the coverage rate of the unemployed would have been increased by 0.85 percent to 1.5 percent from 41.6 percent. Our estimates of the effect of Kassebaum-Kennedy on health insurance coverage are much lower than those reported by the Government Accounting Office prior to the passage of the legislation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-448
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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