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Health insurance competition: The effect of group contracts

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  • Jan Boone

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  • C. Droge
  • I. Mosca

Abstract

The strategic and welfare implications of group contracts for health insurance are not well understood. We estimate a model to determine which factors explain the price of group contracts. In countries like the US and the Netherlands health insurance is provided by private firms, which can offer both individual and group contracts. Using a Dutch data set of about 700 group health insurance contracts over the period 2007-2008, we find that groups that are located close to an insurers’ home turf pay a higher premium than other groups. This finding is not consistent with the bargaining argument in the literature, as it implies that concentrated groups close to an insurer’s home turf should get a larger discount (if any) than other groups. A simple Hotelling model, however, does explain our empirical results.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 152.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:152

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  1. Peter Zweifel & Harry Telser & Stephan Vaterlaus, 2006. "Consumer Resistance Against Regulation: The Case of Health Care," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 319-332, 05.
  2. Jensen, Gail A & Morrisey, Michael A, 1990. "Group Health Insurance: A Hedonic Price Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 38-44, February.
  3. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2011. "Buyer Power And The ‘Waterbed Effect’," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-20, 03.
  4. Evans, Robert G., 1987. "Public health insurance: the collective purchase of individual care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 115-134, April.
  5. Brooks, John M. & Dor, Avi & Wong, Herbert S., 1997. "Hospital-insurer bargaining: An empirical investigation of appendectomy pricing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 417-434, August.
  6. Alan T. Sorensen, 2003. "Insurer-hospital bargaining: negotiated discounts in post-deregulation connecticut," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 469-490, December.
  7. Machiel Dijk & Marc Pomp & Rudy Douven & Trea Laske-Aldershof & Erik Schut & Willem Boer & Anne Boo, 2008. "Consumer price sensitivity in Dutch health insurance," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 225-244, December.
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