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This paper seeks to answer the question in the title by analyzing data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative survey of older Americans. New questions in the HRS enable researchers to compare the value that workers place on health insurance with their perceptions about the cost of coverage. The comparison of cost with willingness-to-pay is important for two reasons. First, it helps us understand why some workers and their families do not have health insurance. The second reason to establish how much workers value health insurance is that willingness to pay will influence both the effectiveness and distributional consequences of strategies to increase coverage.
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