The Influence of the ACA on Employer Sponsored Insurance and Labor Market Outcomes
The implications of the Affordable Care Act on labor market outcomes, including the provision of employer sponsored insurance (ESI) and use of part-time labor, have been controversial since the legislation’s passage in 2010. Several recent provisions within the ACA, notably the introduction of subsidized individual coverage in newly-created Exchanges and the employer shared responsibility requirement for larger employers, are expected to influence both employers and employees in terms of their decision-making and outcomes. The three papers within this session each address complementary issues related to the ACA’s effects on ESI and employment. The first paper uses the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (June 2013-March 2016) to analyze changes in workers’ offer, take-up, and coverage rates for ESI. Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component, the second paper examines ESI access for part-time workers within their households just prior to the 2014 coverage expansion to understand how these workers may fare as employers decide whether or not to restrict ESI eligibility to full-time workers only. Focusing on employer decision-making, the third paper uses nationally representative data on private-sector business establishments from the MEPS-Insurance Component to investigate changes in offer rates and part-time work over the 2010-2014 period as a function of establishment and workforce characteristics, local labor market conditions, and state-specific ACA implementation decisions.