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Health Insurance Take-up by the Near Elderly

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  • Thomas C. Buchmueller
  • Sabina Ohri

Abstract

This study examines the effect of price on the demand for health insurance by early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. The analysis is based on administrative data from a medium sized employer and takes advantage of a natural experiment created by the firm's health insurance contribution policy. The amount the firm contributes toward retiree health insurance coverage depends on when a person retired and her years of service at that date. As a result of this policy, there is considerable variation in out-of-pocket premiums faced by individuals in the data, but this variation is independent of the non-price attributes of the health insurance plans offered, and plausibly exogenous to individual characteristics that are likely to affect the demand for insurance. We find that price has a statistically significant but small effect on the decision to take up coverage. The implied elasticities are very similar to results found in previous studies using very different data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11951.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Publication status: published as Buchmueller, Thomas C. and Sabina Ohri. “Health Insurance Take-up by the Near-Elderly.” Health Services Research 41, 6 ((December 2006): 2054-2073.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11951

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  1. Gruber, Jonathan & Washington, Ebonya, 2005. "Subsidies to employee health insurance premiums and the health insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 253-276, March.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Ebonya Washington, 2003. "Subsidies to Employee Health Insurance Premiums and the Health Insurance Market," NBER Working Papers 9567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Royalty, Anne Beeson & Hagens, John, 2005. "The effect of premiums on the decision to participate in health insurance and other fringe benefits offered by the employer: evidence from a real-world experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 95-112, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Buchmueller, 2008. "Community Rating, Entry-Age Rating and Adverse Selection in Private Health Insurance in Australia*," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 588-609, October.

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