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The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists or waiting times matter? CHERE Working Paper 2010/8

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Author Info

  • Meliyanni Johar

    ()
    (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Glenn Jones
  • Michael Keane

    ()

  • Elizabeth Savage

    ()

  • Olena Stavrunova

Abstract

Besley, Hall, and Preston (1999) estimated a model of the demand for private health insurance in Britain as a function of regional waiting lists and found that increases in the number of people waiting for more than 12 months (the long-term waiting list) increased the probability of insurance purchase. In the absence of waiting time data, the length of regional long-term waiting lists was used to capture the price-quality trade-off of public treatment. We revisit Besley et al.?s analysis using Australian data and test the use of waiting lists as a proxy for waiting time in models of insurance demand. Unlike Besley et al., we find that the long-term waiting list is not a significant determinant of the demand for insurance. However we find that long waiting times do significantly increase insurance. This suggests that the relationship between waiting times and waiting lists is not as straightforward as is commonly assumed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Working Papers with number 2010/8.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2010/8

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Keywords: waiting time; waiting lists; health insurance; regional aggregation;

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  1. Joan Costa-Font & Montserrat Font-Vilalta, 2004. "Preference for National Health Service Use and the Demand for Private Health Insurance in Spain," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(4), pages 705-718, October.
  2. Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2000. "Public health care and private insurance demand: The waiting time as a link," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 51-71, January.
  3. Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2010. "Waiting times and the decision to buy private health insurance. CHERE Working Paper 2010/9," Working Papers 2010/9, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
  4. Bethencourt, Carlos & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2008. "Political complements in the welfare state: Health care and social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 609-632, April.
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