A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

How likely are uninsured workers to voluntarily purchase insurance on their own?

How likely are uninsured workers to voluntarily purchase insurance on their own?

September 2, 2005

Not too likely according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.

"Uninsured workers are unlikely to purchase individual health insurance, regardless of whether they receive tax credits or other subsidies to help cover the cost of premiums, according to a report released on Friday by the Congressional Budget Office. The report, which surveyed 1,718 individuals, found that only 16% of respondents had individual health insurance and that most of those respondents were women, white and older and had higher income and education levels. Cost did not have a significant effect on whether uninsured workers purchase individual health insurance. A 10% reduction in the cost of premiums would only increase the rate of uninsured workers who purchase individual health insurance by 5.7%, the report said. Although reduced premiums for individual health insurance likely would attract healthy lower-income individuals, a decrease in cost likely would have a smaller effect on less-healthy individuals and those with annual incomes higher than 200% of the federal poverty level."