The Individual Insurance Market: A Building Block for Health Care Reform?

May 1, 2008

Health care reform is high on the agenda of policymakers at both the state and federal levels. The individual insurance market is central to many proposals, including some under discussion as well as some in early implementation. Massachusetts’ recently implemented health care reform mandates that individuals have health insurance coverage. Mandates for health insurance coverage at the federal level also have been discussed, as have tax deductions or tax credits for the purchase of individual insurance.1 Each of these approaches envisions a larger, more prominent role for the individual insurance market, so it is important to understand its current status and potential as a vehicle to significantly expand coverage.