Jean Abraham, PhD

Professor and Interim Division Head, Division of Health Policy and Management

Jean Abraham

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-4375

Office Address:
Phillips Wangensteen Building, 15-225

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware St. SE
MMC 729
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor and Interim Division Head, Division of Health Policy and Management

PhD, Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, 2001

BA, Economics and Political Science, University of Arizona, 1995


As a health economist, my primary research areas focus on private health insurance, including consumer behavior, plan quality, benefit design innovation, and competition. I served as director of the Master of Healthcare Administration Program from 2016-2022 and currently serve as Interim Head of the Division of Health Policy and Management.


Private health insurance, including employer-based coverage and the individual market; Impact of the Affordable Care Act; employer wellness programs; digital health for chronic disease management

Awards & Recognition

  • Wegmiller Professor of Healthcare Administration, 2016-2022
  • Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, 2019
  • Weckwerth Professor in Healthcare Administration Leadership, 2014-2016

Professional Associations

  • American Society of Health Economists
  • International Health Economics Association
  • AcademyHealth
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration


Research Funding Grants

  • 2017-2018, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "Studying the impact and implications of insurers' exit from local individual markets and exploring state-based solutions for market stabilization" Co-Principal Investigator
  • 2016–2017, Russell Sage Foundation, "Employer Sponsored Insurance under the Affordable Care Act," Principal Investigator
  • 2014–2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "University of Minnesota Collaborating Center of the Workplace Health Research Network (SIP-031)," Co-Principal Investigator
  • 2015–2020, NIH, "Integrated Health Interview Series Competing Continuation," Co-Investigator
  • 2014–2016, NIH NHLBI, "Testing a Community Intervention to Increase Aspirin Use," Co-Investigator


Selected Publications

  • Abraham, J. S. Cai, D. Anderson, C. Drake. “Behavioral Health Quality among Marketplace Insurers in 2019.” February 2021, Psychiatric Services, 72(2): 200-203.
  • Abraham, J., N. Oldenburg, M. Eder, R. Luepker. “Organizational Costs and Benefits of a Health System Quality Improvement Intervention to Increase Aspirin Use for Primary Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke.” 2020, American Journal of Medical Quality, First Published Online 7 Oct 2020.
  • Abraham, J. “Employer Wellness Programs: A Work in Progress.” JAMA, April 16, 2019.
  • Abraham, J., A. Royalty, C. Drake. “Plan Choice and Affordability in the Individual and Small Group Markets: Policy and Performance – Past and Present. 2019, Health Affairs,38(4): 675-683.
  • Abraham, J. and K. White. “Tracking the Changing Landscape of Corporate Wellness Companies.” 2017, Health Affairs, 36(2): 222-228.
  • Abraham, J., R. Feldman, P. Graven. “Employers’ Changing Economic Incentives to Offer Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act.” 2016, American Journal of Health Economics, 2(3): 273-299.


Teaching Areas

  • PubH 6556 (Residential) and PubH 7556 (Executive), Health and Health Systems
  • PubH 6564 (Residential) and PubH 7564 (Executive), Private Purchasers of Health Care

Community Engagement

Professional Experience Includes

  • Member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, American Society of Health Economists, International Health Economics Association, and Academy Health
  • Senior Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC, 2008-2009



U of MN Health Sciences Expert Link

Health Experts Profile

In The News

SPH News

  • Examining Health Plan Choice, Affordability in the Individual and Small-Group Markets (Read More)
  • Employer-Sponsored Insurance Levels Stable Following ACA and Medicaid Expansion (Read More)
  • Changing How Wellness Programs Are Sold to Employers (Read More)
  • Employer Health Plans Change Little After ACA Implemented (Read More)
  • Do Physical Activity Monitors Actually Motivate People to Exercise? (Read More)
  • Studies find statewide Minnesota aspirin campaign likely to be cost-effective and reduce the incidence of first heart attacks and strokes (Read More)

In the Media

  • A wellness program at work may make you feel good, but it won’t improve your health (Los Angeles Times)
  • How well do workplace wellness programs work? (NPR)
  • Research Brief: Plan choice and affordability in the individual and small-group markets: policy and performance — past and present (UMN News)
  • ‘Medicare for all’ sounds good, but Democrats need to spell out exactly what they mean (Los Angeles Times)
  • Payer Roundup — CMS approves Medicaid work requirements in Arizona (Fierce Healthcare)
  • Telemedicine Sees a Dramatic Rise in Minnesota, with Urban-Rural Contrast (Star Tribune)
  • Chad Hartman Show - "Conversations" on Healthcare (WCCO Radio)
  • How Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire Could Transform American Health Care (USA Today)
  • Breaking down President Trump's health care moves (KARE-TV)
  • The pre-existing conditions debate (KARE-TV)
  • At year's end, patients surge into hospitals and clinics for free care. (MPR)
  • Repeal of Obamacare worries healthcare experts and U students. (MN Daily)
  • Open enrollment triggers sticker shock for some Minnesotans. (MPR)
  • Skimpier employer coverage may accelerate under Trump administration. (Modern Healthcare)
  • Paying medicaid enrollees to quit smoking, lose weight: Will it pay off? (MedPage Today)