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The Welfare Impact of Medicare HMOs

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  • Town, Robert
  • Liu, Su
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    Abstract

    We estimate the welfare associated with the Medicare HMO program, now known as Medicare+Choice (M+C). We find that the creation of the M+C program resulted in approximately $15.6 billion in consumer surplus and $52 billion in profits from 1993 to 2000 (in 2000 dollars). This program most likely generated significant net social welfare. However, we find that consumer surplus is geographically unevenly distributed. Prescription drug coverage accounts for approximately 45% of the estimated consumer surplus for 2000. Consumer surplus increases in the number of plans in a county, and most of the increase in welfare is due to increased premium competition. Copyright 2003 by the RAND Corporation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
    Pages: 719-36

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    Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:34:y:2003:i:4:p:719-36

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    Cited by:
    1. Steven Pizer & Austin Frakt & Roger Feldman, 2009. "Nothing for something? Estimating cost and value for beneficiaries from recent medicare spending increases on HMO payments and drug benefits," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 59-81, March.
    2. Martin Gaynor & Robert J. Town, 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 17208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Helen Levy & David Weir, 2009. "Take-Up of Medicare Part D: Results from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 14692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Martin Gaynor & Kate Ho & Robert Town, 2014. "The Industrial Organization of Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 19800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Anne E. Hall, 2007. "The value of Medicare managed care plans and their prescription drug benefits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Lee G. Branstetter & Chirantan Chatterjee & Matthew Higgins, 2011. "Regulation and Welfare: Evidence from Paragraph IV Generic Entry in the Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 17188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chernew, Michael & DeCicca, Philip & Town, Robert, 2008. "Managed care and medical expenditures of Medicare beneficiaries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1451-1461, December.
    8. Shiko Maruyama, 2008. "Measuring the Welfare Effect of Entry in Differentiated Product Markets: The Case of Medicare HMOs," Discussion Papers 2008-01, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    9. Anne E. Hall, 2010. "Measuring the return on spending on the Medicare HMO program," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Mark Duggan & Amanda Starc & Boris Vabson, 2014. "Who Benefits when the Government Pays More? Pass-Through in the Medicare Advantage Program," NBER Working Papers 19989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Leemore Dafny & David Dranove, 2005. "Do Report Cards Tell Consumers Anything They Don't Already Know? The Case of Medicare HMOs," NBER Working Papers 11420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Song, Zirui & Landrum, Mary Beth & Chernew, Michael E., 2013. "Competitive bidding in Medicare Advantage: Effect of benchmark changes on plan bids," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1301-1312.
    13. 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.
    14. Mariuzzo, Franco & Walsh, Patrick Paul & Whelan, Ciara, 2010. "Coverage of retail stores and discrete choice models of demand: Estimating price elasticities and welfare effects," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 555-578, September.
    15. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Robert J. Town, 2004. "Managed Care, Drug Benefits and Mortality: An Analysis of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 10204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Austin B. Frakt & Steven D. Pizer, 2010. "Beneficiary price sensitivity in the Medicare prescription drug plan market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 88-100.
    17. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2013. "Making Medicare advantage a middle-class program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 463-473.
    18. Yamamoto, Wataru, 2013. "Negative economic consequences of ethical campaigns?: Market data evidence," MPRA Paper 49070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Pizer, Steven D. & Prentice, Julia C., 2011. "Time is money: Outpatient waiting times and health insurance choices of elderly veterans in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 626-636, July.
    20. López Nicolás, Ángel & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2008. "Are tax subsidies for private medical insurance self-financing? Evidence from a microsimulation model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1285-1298, September.

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