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Contending with Risk Selection in Health Insurance Markets in Germany

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  • Jacob Glazer
  • Thomas G. McGuire
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    Abstract

    In many countries, competition among health plans or sickness funds raises issues of risk selection. Funds may discourage or encourage potential enrollees from joining, and these actions may have efficiency or fairness implications. This article reviews the experience in the U.S., and comments on the evidence for risk selection in Germany. There is little evidence that risk selection causes efficiency problems in Germany, but risk selection does lead to an inequality in contribution rates. A simple approach to equalizing contribution rates that does not involve risk adjustment is presented and discussed. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik und Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2006)
    Issue (Month): s1 (05)
    Pages: 75-91

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:7:y:2006:i:s1:p:75-91

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    1. Gruber, Jonathan & McKnight, Robin, 2003. "Why did employee health insurance contributions rise?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1085-1104, November.
    2. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2002. "Setting health plan premiums to ensure efficient quality in health care: minimum variance optimal risk adjustment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 153-173, May.
    3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
    4. Friedrich Breyer & Martin Heineck & Normann Lorenz, 2003. "Determinants of health care utilization by German sickness fund members - with application to risk adjustment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 367-376.
    5. Feldman, Roger & Dowd, Bryan, 2000. "Risk segmentation: goal or problem?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 499-512, July.
    6. Frank, Richard G. & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Measuring adverse selection in managed health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 829-854, November.
    7. Robert Nuscheler & Thomas Knaus, 2005. "Risk selection in the German public health insurance system," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(12), pages 1253-1271.
    8. Joseph P. Newhouse, 2004. "Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640589, December.
    9. Van de ven, Wynand P.M.M. & Ellis, Randall P., 2000. "Risk adjustment in competitive health plan markets," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 755-845 Elsevier.
    10. Sean Nicholson & Kate Bundorf & Rebecca M. Stein & Daniel Polsky, 2003. "The Magnitude and Nature of Risk Selection in Employer-Sponsored Health Plans," NBER Working Papers 9937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Beck, Konstantin & Spycher, Stefan & Holly, Alberto & Gardiol, Lucien, 2003. "Risk adjustment in Switzerland," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 63-74, July.
    12. Strombom, Bruce A. & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 2002. "Switching costs, price sensitivity and health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 89-116, January.
    13. Buchner, Florian & Wasem, Jurgen, 2003. "Needs for further improvement: risk adjustment in the German health insurance system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-35, July.
    14. Cao, Zhun & McGuire, Thomas G., 2003. "Service-level selection by HMOs in Medicare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 915-931, November.
    15. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1996. "Reimbursing Health Plans and Health Providers: Efficiency in Production versus Selection," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1236-1263, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dirk Goepffarth, 2007. "Theorie und Praxis des Risikostrukturausgleichs," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 227(5+6), pages 485-501, December.

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