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Abstract

In the employer-sponsored insurance market that covers most Americans; many workers are "underinsured." The evidence shows onerous out-of-pocket payments causing them to forgo needed care, miss work, and fall into bankruptcies and foreclosures. Nonetheless, many higher-paid workers are "overinsured": the evidence shows that in this domain, surplus insurance stimulates spending and price inflation without improving health. Employers can solve these problems together by scaling cost-sharing to wages. This reform would make insurance better protect against risk and guarantee access to care, while maintaining or even reducing insurance premiums.

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