Jean Abraham, PhD

Wegmiller Professor of Healthcare Administration, Division of Health Policy and Management

Jean Abraham

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-4375

Office Address:
Phillips Wangensteen Building, 15-227

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

Wegmiller Professor of Healthcare Administration, Division of Health Policy and Management

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

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


My research focuses on health economics and policy. I am particularly interested in employer and employee decision-making with respect to health insurance, employer wellness program evaluation, evaluation of the Affordable Care Act, and competition in provider and insurance markets. 


Health economics, health policy, employer-based health insurance, employer wellness programs, insurance market competition, evaluation of the Affordable Care Act

Awards & Recognition

  • Weckwerth Professor in Healthcare Administration Leadership, 2014
  • IHIS Research Paper Award for Best Paper, 2012
  • Leonard M. Schuman Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 2011
  • Delta Omega, Honorary Society in Public Health, 2010
  • Wegmiller Professor of Healthcare Administration, 2016-present

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., C. Drake, D. Sacks, K. Simon. “Demand for health insurance marketplace plans was highly elastic in 2014–2015,” 2017, Economics Letters, 159: 69-73.
  • Abraham, J., J. McCullough, C. Drake, K. Simon. “What Drives Insurer Participation and Premiums in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace?” 2017, International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 17(4): 395-412.
  • Abraham, J. and K. White. “Tracking the Changing Landscape of Corporate Wellness Companies.” 2017, Health Affairs, 36(2): 222-228.
  • Abraham, J., A. Royalty, C. Drake. “Employer-Sponsored Insurance Offers: Largely Stable in 2014 Following ACA Implementation.” 2016, Health Affairs, 35(11): 2133-2137.
  • 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.
  • Karaca-Mandic, P., Abraham, and K. Simon. “Is the Medical Loss Ratio a Good Target Measure for Regulation in the Individual Market for Health Insurance?” 2015, Health Economics, 24(1): 55-74.
  • McCullough, J., Abraham, J. Christianson, D. Crespin, M. Finch. “Public Reporting and the Evolution of Clinical Quality.” 2015, International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 15(1): 127-138.
  • Abraham, J., Crespin, J. McCullough, J. Christianson. “What is the Cost of Quality for Diabetes Care?” 2014, Medical Care Research and Review, 71(6): 580-598.
  • 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. “Employer Wellness Programs: A Work in Progress.” JAMA, April 16, 2019.


Teaching Areas

Community Engagement

Professional Experience Includes

  • Senior Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., 2008-2009
  • Member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, International Health Economics Association, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and Academy Health



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)