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Quantitative Analysis of Health Insurance Reform: Separating Community Rating from Income Redistribution

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  • Pashchenko, Svetlana
  • Porapakkarm, Ponpoje

Abstract

Two key components of the upcoming health reform are a reorganization of the individual health insurance market and an increase in income redistribution in the economy. Which component contributes more to the welfare outcome of the reform? We address this question by constructing a general equilibrium life cycle model that incorporates both medical expenses and labor income risks. We replicate the key features of the current health insurance system in the U.S. and calibrate the model using the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey dataset. We find that the reform decreases the number of uninsured more than four times. It also brings significant welfare gains equivalent to almost one percent of the annual consumption. However, these welfare gains mostly come from the redistributive measures embedded in the reform. If the reform only reorganizes the individual market, introduces individual mandates but does not include any income-based transfers, the welfare gains are much smaller. This result is mostly driven by the fact that most uninsured people have low income. High burdens of health insurance premiums for this group are relieved disproportionately more by income-based measures than by the new rules in the individual market.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26158.

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Date of creation: 23 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26158

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Keywords: health insurance; health reform; risk sharing; general equilibrium;

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Cited by:
  1. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2013. "Quantitative Analysis of Health Insurance Reform: Separating Regulation from Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 383-404, July.
  2. Harold L. Cole & Soojin Kim & Dirk Krueger, 2012. "Analyzing the Effects of Insuring Health Risks: On the Trade-off between Short Run Insurance Benefits vs. Long Run Incentive Costs," NBER Working Papers 18572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2011. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Working Papers 201102, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
  4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2013. "Medicaid Insurance in Old Age," NBER Working Papers 19151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ponpoje (Poe) Porapakkarm & Svetlana Pashchenko, 2013. "Labor Supply Incentives of Medicaid," 2013 Meeting Papers 1082, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2011. "Welfare costs of reclassification risk in the health insurance market," MPRA Paper 34189, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Naoki Aizawa & Hanming Fang, 2013. "Equilibrium Labor Market Search and Health Insurance Reform," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Ponpoje Porapakkarm & Svetlana Pashchenko, 2011. "Front-loaded contracts in health insurance market: How valuable is guaranteed renewability?," 2011 Meeting Papers 1268, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2013. "Work Incentives of Medicaid Beneficiaries and The Role of Asset Testing," MPRA Paper 49730, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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