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Does Competition Among Medicare Advantage Plans Matter?: An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Local Competition in a Regulated Environment

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Author Info

  • Abe Dunn

    ()
    (Economist, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530)

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Abstract

The regulatory oversight of the private Medicare Advantage (MA) program makes the role of competition in this market unclear. This paper empirically examines the impact of competition by measuring the effects of changes in market structure on enrollment. The study examines competition in local geographic markets using county-level enrollment data from 2001-07. I find that an increase in the number of competitors results in an increase in the number of enrollees served ­ consistent with competition motivating firms to provide more generous benefits. Competition also results in an increase in product proliferation, which highlights a dimension of competition not previously examined. Overall, the results are similar to what one might expect in an unregulated environment, suggesting that there are benefits from competition that are not realized by regulation alone.

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File URL: http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/eag/248399.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in its series EAG Discussions Papers with number 200905.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:doj:eagpap:200905

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Postal: Department of Justice Antitrust Division 450 Fifth Street NW Washington, DC 20530
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Web page: http://www.justice.gov/atr/
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  1. Dunn, Abe, 2010. "The value of coverage in the medicare advantage insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 839-855, December.
  2. Davis, Peter, 2005. "The Effect of Local Competition on Admission Prices in the U.S. Motion Picture Exhibition Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 677-708, October.
  3. Jean M. Abraham & Martin S. Gaynor & William B. Vogt, 2005. "Entry and Competition in Local Hospital Markets," NBER Working Papers 11649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Shiko Maruyama, 2006. "Welfare Analysis Incorporating a Structural Entry-Exit Model: A Case Study of Medicare HMOs," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-166, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  7. Evans, William N & Froeb, Luke M & Werden, Gregory J, 1993. "Endogeneity in the Concentration-Price Relationship: Causes, Consequences, and Cures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 431-38, December.
  8. Wholey, Douglas & Feldman, Roger & Christianson, Jon B., 1995. "The effect of market structure on HMO premiums," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 81-105, May.
  9. David Dranove & Anne Gron & Michael J. Mazzeo, 2003. "Differentiation and Competition in HMO Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 433-454, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Ken Heyer & Nicholas Hill, 2008. "The Year in Review: Economics at the Antitrust Division, 2007–2008," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 247-262, November.

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