Gold and Silver health plans: Accommodating demand heterogeneity in managed competition
AbstractNew regulation of health insurance markets creates multiple levels of health plans, with designations like “Gold” and “Silver.” The underlying rationale for the heavy-metal approach to insurance regulation is that heterogeneity in demand for health care is not only due to health status (sick demand more than the healthy) but also to other, “taste” related factors (rich demand more than the poor). This paper models managed competition with demand heterogeneity to consider plan payment and enrollee premium policies in relation to efficiency (net consumer benefit) and fairness (the European concept of “solidarity”). Specifically, this paper studies how to implement a “Silver” and “Gold” health plan efficiently and fairly in a managed competition context. We show that there are sharp tradeoffs between efficiency and fairness. When health plans cannot or may not (because of regulation) base premiums on any factors affecting demand, enrollees do not choose the efficient plan. When taste (e.g., income) can be used as a basis of payment, a simple tax can achieve both efficiency and fairness. When only health status (and not taste) can be used as a basis of payment, health status-based taxes and subsidies are required and efficiency can only be achieved with a modified version of fairness we refer to as “weak solidarity.” An overriding conclusion is that the regulation of premiums for both the basic and the higher level plans is necessary for efficiency.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.
Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560
Health economics; Managed competition; Health insurance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- William E. Encinosa & David E. M. Sappington, 1997. "Competition among Health Maintenance Organizations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 129-150, 03.
- Michael Smart, 1996.
"Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables,"
msmart-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Smart, Michael, 2000. "Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 153-69, February.
- 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.
- Diamond, Peter, 1992. "Organizing the Health Insurance Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1233-54, November.
- David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998.
"Paying For Health Insurance: The Trade-Off Between Competition And Adverse Selection,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466, May.
- David M. Cutler & Sarah Reber, 1996. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Tradeoff between Competition and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 5796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pauly, Mark V. & Ramsey, Scott D., 1999. "Would you like suspenders to go with that belt? An analysis of optimal combinations of cost sharing and managed care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 443-458, August.
- M. Kate Bundorf & Jonathan D. Levin & Neale Mahoney, 2008.
"Pricing and Welfare in Health Plan Choice,"
NBER Working Papers
14153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Encinosa, William, 2001. "The economics of regulatory mandates on the HMO market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 85-107, January.
- 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.
- Sen, Amartya, 2009. "Capitalism Beyond the Crisis," Scholarly Articles 2961699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Jack, William, 2006. "Optimal risk adjustment with adverse selection and spatial competition," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 908-926, September.
- Keeler, Emmett B. & Carter, Grace & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1998. "A model of the impact of reimbursement schemes on health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 297-320, June.
- Olivella, Pau & Vera-Hernandez, Marcos, 2007. "Competition among differentiated health plans under adverse selection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 233-250, March.
- Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2013. "Making Medicare advantage a middle-class program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 463-473.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.