NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Why Some Don’t Buy Health Insurance”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks, why some don’t buy health insurance.   Mike, one of the perplexing facts of the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – was that a large number of eligible individuals didn’t use the program even though their costs were heavily subsidized.   Do we know why?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. Summary answer – they don’t value the health insurance at what they would have to pay, even if subsidized
  2. This conclusion is reached in a new study of health insurance buyers in Massachusetts
  3. Research found, for example, that even if 90% of the health insurance premium was subsidized, 25% of eligible individuals would not participate – and would choose to pay a penalty for doing so
  4. Many of these individuals are young – researchers speculate the individuals don’t value health insurance much, and believe if do need medical help, they will be able to get it free
  5. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension