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Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France

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  • Thomas C. Buchmueller
  • Agnes Couffinhal
  • Michel Grignon
  • Marc Perronin

Abstract

In France, public health insurance is universal but incomplete, with private payments accounting for roughly 25 percent of all spending. As a result, most people have supplemental private health insurance. We investigate the effects of such insurance on the utilization of physician services using data from the 1998 Enquˆte Sant‚ Protection Sociale, a nationally representative survey of the French population. Our results indicate that insurance has a strong and significant effect on the utilization of physician services. Individuals with supplemental coverage have substantially more physician visits than those without. In a context where patients are free to choose their provider, we find no evidence that adults with supplemental insurance are more likely to visit a specialist than a general practitioner.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9238.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9238

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  1. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  2. Martin Schellhorn, 2001. "The effect of variable health insurance deductibles on the demand for physician visits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 441-456.
  3. Holly, Alberto & Gardiol, Lucien & Domenighetti, Gianfranco & Brigitte Bisig, 1998. "An econometric model of health care utilization and health insurance in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 513-522, May.
  4. Ettner, Susan L., 1997. "Adverse selection and the purchase of Medigap insurance by the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 543-562, October.
  5. Hurd, Michael D. & McGarry, Kathleen, 1997. "Medical insurance and the use of health care services by the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 129-154, April.
  6. Chiappori, P.A. & Durand, F. & Geoffard, P.Y., 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Demand for Physician Services: First Lessons from a French Natural Experiment," DELTA Working Papers 98-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. Colm Harmon & Brian Nolan, 2001. "Health insurance and health services utilization in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 135-145.
  8. Amir Shmueli, 2001. "The effect of health on acute care supplemental insurance ownership: an empirical analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 341-350.
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