Mind the Gap! Consumer Perceptions and Choices
AbstractMedicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage through Medicare approved plans offered by private insurance companies and HMOs. In this paper, we study the role of current prescription drug use and health risks, related expectations, and subjective factors in the demand for prescription drug insurance. To characterize rational behavior in the complex Part D environment, we develop an intertemporal optimization model of enrollment decisions. We generally find that seniors’ choices respond to the incentives provided by their own health status and the market environment as predicted by the optimization model. The proportion of individuals who do not attain the optimal choice is small, but the margin for error is also small since enrollment is transparently optimal for most eligible seniors. Further, there is also evidence that seniors over-react to some salient features of the choice situation, do not take full account of the future benefit and cost consequences of their decisions, or the expected net benefits and risk properties of alternative plans.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 08156.
Date of creation: 18 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
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Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
Web page: http://www.mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
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