Health Insurance Tax Credits and Health Insurance Coverage
of Low-Earning Single Mothers

Upjohn Institute Staff Working Paper 09-158

Merve Cebi
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Stephen A. Woodbury
Michigan State University
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

June 2009
Revised March 2010

JEL Classification Codes: H2; H51, I18, J32

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 introduced a refundable tax credit for low-income working families who purchased health insurance coverage for their children. This health insurance tax credit (HITC) existed during tax years 1991, 1992, and 1993, and was then rescinded. We use Current Population Survey data and a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the HITC’s effect on private health insurance coverage of low-earning single mothers. The findings suggest that during 1991–1993, the health insurance coverage of single mothers was about 6 percentage points higher than it would have been in the absence of the HITC.

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