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

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  • Ponpoje Porapakkarm

    (University of Macau)

  • Svetlana Pashchenko

    (University of Virginia)

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 Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1254.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1254

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2012. "Quantitative analysis of health insurance reform: separating regulation from redistribution," MPRA Paper 41193, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ponpoje (Poe) Porapakkarm & Svetlana Pashchenko, 2013. "Labor Supply Incentives of Medicaid," 2013 Meeting Papers 1082, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2012. "Online Appendix to "Quantitative Analysis of Health Insurance Reform: Separating Regulation from Redistribution"," Technical Appendices 11-70, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-047, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Pashchenko, Svetlana & Porapakkarm, Ponpoje, 2013. "Work Incentives of Medicaid Beneficiaries and The Role of Asset Testing," MPRA Paper 49730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2013. "Medicaid Insurance in Old Age," NBER Working Papers 19151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  10. 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.

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