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Copayments in the German Health System: Does It Work?

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Author Info

  • Augurzky, Boris

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Schaffner, Sandra

    ()
    (RWI)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of copayments on doctor visits using the German health care reform of 2004 as a natural experiment. In January 2004, copayments of 10 euros for the first doctor visit in each quarter have been introduced for all adults in the statutory health insurance. Individuals covered by private health insurance as well as youths have been exempted from these copayments. We use them as control groups in a difference-in-differences approach to identify the causal impact of these copayments on doctor visits. In contrast to expectations and public opinion our results indicate that there are no statistically significant effects of the copayments on the decision of visiting a doctor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2290.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2290

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Related research

Keywords: copayment; doctor visits; difference-in-differences; fixed-effect logit;

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References

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  1. Marcus Tamm & Harald Tauchmann & Jürgen Wasem & Stefan Gre�, 2007. "Elasticities of market shares and social health insurance choice in germany: a dynamic panel data approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 243-256.
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Cited by:
  1. Alfredo R. Paloyo, 2009. "Co-pay and Feel Okay: Evidence of Illusory Health Gains from a Health Insurance Reform," Ruhr Economic Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen 0142, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Hendrik Schmitz, 2008. "Do Optional Deductibles Reduce the Number of Doctor Visits?: Empirical Evidence with German Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 141, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Schmitz, Hendrik, 2013. "Practice budgets and the patient mix of physicians – The effect of a remuneration system reform on health care utilisation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1240-1249.

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