In order to analyze alternative creative solutions or assist in planning the implementation of promising ideas, facts must be brought to bear. Often, re-analyzing publicly available survey data generates important new insights for policy development. IHPS frequently undertakes this kind of applied research.
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We identify and apply available data to inform policy makers about the policy-and-budget-implications of alternative coverage strategies, particularly for working families. To this end, we have developed the "Health@Work"SM estimator model, which illustrates the potential distribution costs by payer for small-employer coverage expansion initiatives that involve low-cost employer contributions and sliding0scale subsidies for workers. We also analyze published employer-plan data from the federal government's annual employer survey (the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey's "Insurance Component") and request special-purpose tabulations from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality when appropriate. When more sophisticated quantitative analysis is required, we partner with other organizations such as RAND, the Actuarial Research Corporation and others with similar expertise. For an example of how we apply data analysis to policy issues, see Expanding Healthy Families to Cover Parents: Issues & Analyses Related to Employer Coverage, January 2001
SURVEYS AND FOCUS GROUPS
Although we do not carry out large-scale survey research, IHPS does organize and conduct small-scale surveys and focus groups to support analysis and implementation of creative solutions at the state and local level. For example, we have interviewed small business owners and conducted focus groups with small employers and small-firm workers in Wisconsin and in Orange County, California. In both cases, this research sought to understand how small businesses and their workers perceived different proposals aimed at expanding health insurance coverage for small-firm workers. For an example of this work, see Focus Group Findings from Non-Offering Latino and Vietnamese Small Employers and Low-Wage Employees in Orange County, November 2002.
To request direct technical assistance, please contact IHPS. Please note we rely on outside grants and contracts to fund our work.
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