Tax Treatment of Health Insurance: A Primer

The United States tax system subsidizes the purchase of employer-sponsored health insurance for more than 160 million non-elderly people at a “cost” of approximately $200 billion a year. This tax subsidy is a major reason why most Americans have health insurance coverage through either their own employer or that of a family member. In recent months, the tax treatment of health insurance has gained a lot of attention – both during the presidential campaign and in health reform debates in Congress.

What is the current tax treatment of employer-sponsored health insurance? How does the tax treatment of health insurance impact employers? How does it impact employees? Do some workers benefit more than others from the current tax subsidies? Does altering the tax treatment of health insurance have the potential to expand or diminish coverage? Will cost containment efforts lead policy makers to consider altering the tax treatment of health insurance?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation sponsored a December 5 briefing. Panelists were: Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation and Robert Lyke, Congressional Research Service. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.

Transcript

Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Larry Levitt Presentation (PowerPoint)
Robert Lyke Presentation (PowerPoint)

Event Details

Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)