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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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  1. Orazio Attanasio & Sagiri Kitao & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Financing Medicare: A General Equilibrium Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 333-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Cole, Harold & Kim, Soojin & Krueger, Dirk, 2012. "Analyzing the Effects of Insuring Health Risks: On the Trade-off between Short Run Insurance Benefits vs. Long Run Incentive Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9239, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2011. "Welfare costs of reclassification risk in the health insurance market," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Ponpoje (Poe) Porapakkarm & Svetlana Pashchenko, 2013. "Labor Supply Incentives of Medicaid," 2013 Meeting Papers 1082, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2012. "Medicaid insurance in old age," Working Paper Series WP-2012-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2013. "Work Incentives of Medicaid Beneficiaries and The Role of Asset Testing," MPRA Paper 49730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Chung Tran & Juergen Jung, 2011. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-539, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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