The Effect of Private Health Insurance on Medical Care Utilization and Self-Assessed Health in Germany
AbstractIn Germany, employees are generally obliged to participate in the public health insurance system, where coverage is universal, co-payments and deductibles are moderate, and premia are based on income. However, they may buy private insurance instead if their income exceeds the compulsory insurance threshold. Here, premia are based on age and health, individuals may choose to what extent they are covered, and deductibles and co-payments are common. In this paper, we estimate the effect of private insurance coverage on the number of doctor visits, the number of nights spent in a hospital and self-assessed health. Variation in income around the compulsory insurance threshold provides a natural experiment that we exploit to control for selection into private insurance. We document that income is measured with error and suggest an approach to take this into account. We find negative effects of private insurance coverage on the number of doctor visits, no effects on the number of nights spent in a hospital, and positive effects on health.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5004.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Health Economics, 2010, 19(9), 1048-1062
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Other versions of this item:
- Patrick Hullegie & Tobias J. Klein, 2010. "The effect of private health insurance on medical care utilization and self‐assessed health in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(9), pages 1048-1062, September.
- Hullegie P & Klein TJ, 2009. "The effect of private health insurance on medical care utilization and self-assessed health in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/17, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EUR-2010-07-03 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-HEA-2010-07-03 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2010-07-03 (Insurance Economics)
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