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Duplicate health insurance coverage: determinants of variation across states.


Although it is recognized that many people have duplicate private health insurance coverage, either through separate purchase or as health benefits in multi-earner families, there has been little analysis of the factors determining duplicate coverage rates. A new data source, the Survey of Income and Education, offers a comparison with the only previous source of state level data, the estimates from the Health Insurance Association of America. The R2 between the two sets is only .3 and certain problems can be traced to the methodology underlying the HIAA figures. Using figures for gross and net coverage, the ratio of total policies to people with private coverage ranges from .94 in Utah to 1.53 in Illinois. Measures of industry distribution, per capita income and employment explain a large portion of the variance, but it appears that these factors operate in opposite directions for group and non-group policies. Similar sociodemographic variables also explain net coverage. These findings have substantial implications for research and the structuring of employee health benefits.

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