Tort reform may affect health insurance premiums both by reducing medical malpractice premiums and by reducing the extent of defensive medicine. The objective of this study is to estimate the effects of noneconomic damage caps on the premiums for employer‐sponsored health insurance.
Employer premium data and plan/establishment characteristics were obtained from the 1999 through 2004 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Insurance Surveys. Damage caps were obtained and dated based on state annotated codes, statutes, and judicial decisions.
Fixed effects regression models were run to estimate the effects of the size of inflation‐adjusted damage caps on the weighted average single premiums.
Data Sources/Study Setting
State tort reform laws were identified using Westlaw, LEXIS, and statutory compilations. Legislative repeal and amendment of statutes and court decisions resulting in the overturning or repealing state statutes were also identified using LEXIS.
Using a variety of empirical specifications, there was no statistically significant evidence that noneconomic damage caps exerted any meaningful influence on the cost of employer‐sponsored health insurance.
The findings suggest that tort reforms have not translated into insurance savings.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods