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Physicians' balance billing, supplemental insurance and access to health care

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  • Izabela Jelovac

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon)

Abstract

Some countries allow physicians to balance bill patients, that is, to bill a fee above the one that is negotiated with, and reimbursed by the health authorities. Balance billing is known for restricting access to physicians' services while supplemental insurance against balance billing amounts is supposed to alleviate the access problem. This paper analyzes in a theoretical setting the consequences of balance billing on the fees setting and on the inequality of access among the users of physicians' services. It also shows that supplemental insurance against the expenses associated with balance billing, rather than alleviating the access problem, increases it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00787602.

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Date of creation: 12 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00787602

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00787602
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Keywords: Physicians' fees; balance billing; supplemental insurance;

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  1. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Agnès Couffinhal & Michel Grignon & Marc Perronnin, 2004. "Access to physician services: does supplemental insurance matter? Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 669-687.
  2. Mathias Kifmann & Florian Scheuer, 2011. "Balance billing: the patients' perspective," Health Economics Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
  3. Glazer, Jacob & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 1993. "Should physicians be permitted to 'balance bill' patients?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 239-258, October.
  4. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Agnes Couffinhal, 2004. "Private Health Insurance in France," OECD Health Working Papers 12, OECD Publishing.
  5. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
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