Kristin Kleinjans, associate professor of economics, is co-author of “The Effect of a Severe Health Shock on Work Behavior: Evidence From Different Health Care Regimes,” in the July 2015 issue Social Science & Medicine.
The article compares the employer-based health care system in the U.S. and Denmark’s public system to determine how divergent healthcare systems impact employment decisions among older adults.
“The big difference is that in Denmark, health care is universal and paid by taxes. Thus, everybody has access to health care. Out-of-pocket costs are low and nobody faces the risk of catastrophic health care expenditures,” Kleinjans says. “In the U.S., people without health insurance often go without basic care and end up in the emergency room, either because preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes, were not adequately treated, or because they lack access to other types of care. Not surprisingly, this results in much higher costs and leads to worse health outcomes.”