Measuring Lost Health Insurance Benefits With Limited Information
Edward Foster. 2014. Measuring Lost Health Insurance Benefits With Limited Information. Journal of Legal Economics 20(1–2): pp. 125–139.
A plaintiff’s lost health insurance fringe benefits cannot be measured precisely for a future unknown job. The situation arises for an injured child who will enter the labor force, if at all, only in the future; it also arises for an adult claiming injury or wrongful termination who is expected to find work in mitigation but has not yet done so. Sometimes, the situation also arises in cases for which it is known that insurance was provided but there is no information on its cost. This note discusses three alternative sources for measuring the expected value of lost health insurance in such circumstances. Results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey (NCS), reported either in the quarterly Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) or the Employee Benefits Report (EBS) can be used to estimate the value of those benefits, based on benefits for an average U.S. civilian employee. Or the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey (Kaiser EHBS) can be used if it is known that insurance would have been provided. This note discusses the differences among the three sources.