RESEARCH AREAS > Health Care Policy > Health Status, Health Insurance and Worker Mobility: A Study of Job Lock in California
Health Status, Health Insurance and Worker Mobility: A Study of Job Lock in California
A majority of Americans and Californians receive their health insurance through employment. Job lock is the phenomenon in which workers who hold employer provided health insurance suffer reduced job mobility due to either pre-existing conditions exclusion or aversion to waiting periods. A worker may be averse to switching to a new job if the new employer requires a mandatory waiting period, which is typical for most jobs, before the new health coverage begins. Additionally, job lock involves chronically ill workers who may not be inclined to switch jobs if it means losing coverage due to a pre-existing conditions clause. Thus, job lock hampers workers mobility because of the non-portability of employer provided health insurance. Job lock is an important phenomenon to study because it can discourage workers from moving to more suitable employment where they can be more productive and receive better pay and working conditions. As such, job lock tends to undermine overall social and economic development. In this study, we employed a research design that departs from the quasi-experimental â€œdifference in differenceâ€ approach typically used by job lock researchers. In addition, we have generated a measure of health status that incorporates both objective and subjective measures of health. Finally, we have attempted to use a new dataset; the California Work and Health Survey, to study of job lock in California.