Grantee Institution: Yale University
Principal Investigator: Abigail Friedman, Ph.D.
Grant Period: May 15, 2015 – June 30, 2016
This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s solicitation “Policy-Relevant Insurance Studies” (PRIS), which supports studies that address the macro and micro effects of policies related to health insurance. The goal of the project is to provide policymakers with evidence on the impact of smoking penalties on insurance enrollment and smoking cessation at different penalty levels. The researchers will use BRFSS data to (1) determine the impact of tobacco premium rating on smoker’s health insurance enrollment; (2) determine the impact of tobacco premium rating on smoking behavior (i.e. quit attempts, current smoking); and (3) simulate the tradeoffs between changes in insurance enrollment and smoking behavior at different levels of smoking surcharges, and estimate how raising individual penalties for not enrolling will shift these tradeoffs. Deliverables will include a project work plan, annual financial and narrative reports, and a final policy summary. The grantee will also produce paper(s) suitable for publication and present findings at national research meetings and other stakeholder audiences as appropriate, including federal and state policymakers, as part of the deliverables for this grant.