Income and the Demand for Complementary Health Insurance in France
AbstractThis paper examines the demand for complementary health insurance (CHI) in the non-group market in France and the reasons why the near poor seem price insensitive. First we develop a theoretical model based on a simple tradeoff between two goods: CHI and a composite good reflecting all other consumptions. Then we estimate a model of CHI consumption and empirically test the impact of potential determinants of demand for coverage: risk aversion, asymmetrical information, non-expected utility, the demand for quality and health, and supply-side factors such as price discrimination. We interpret our empirical findings in terms of crossed price and income elasticity of the demand for CHI. Last, we use these estimates of elasticity to simulate the effect of various levels of price subsidies on the demand for CHI among those with incomes around the poverty level in France. We find that the main motivation for purchasing CHI in France is protection against the financial risk associated with co-payments in the public health insurance scheme. We also observe a strong income effect suggesting that affordability might be an important determinant. Our simulations indicate that no policy of price subsidy can significantly increase the take-up of CHI among the near poor; any increase in the level of subsidy generates a windfall benefit for richer households.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by IRDES institut for research and information in health economics in its series Working Papers with number DT24.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: Apr 2009
Demand for health insurance; Uninsured; Premium subsidies;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2009-04-18 (European Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2009-04-18 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2009-04-18 (Insurance Economics)
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