The authors examine the generosity of private employer health insurance coverage using data from two large national surveys of employers. Generosity is measured as the expected out-of-pocket share of medical expenditures for a standard population, given the provisions of the coverage. On average, those covered by employer-sponsored insurance can expect to pay 25 percent of expenditures out of pocket. There is little variability across plans in this share, though plans offered by smaller employers are somewhat less generous than those offered by larger employers. Individuals who incur high costs pay a smaller share of the bill than do those with lower levels of spending. The generosity of employer-sponsored plans increased slightly in the 1990s.
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