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Age and Choice in Health Insurance: Evidence from Switzerland

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Author Info

  • Karolin Becker

    ()
    (Plaut Economics, Olten)

  • Peter Zweifel

    ()
    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

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    Abstract

    Elements of regulation inherent in most social health insurance systems are a uniform package of benefits and uniform cost sharing. Both elements risk to burden the population with a welfare loss if preferences differ. This suggests introducing more contracted choice; however, it is widely believed that this would not benefit the aged. This study examines the relationship between age and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for additional options in Swiss social health insurance. Through discrete choice experiments (DCE), a marked diversity of preferences can be established. The findings suggest that while the aged do exhibit more status quo bias, they require less rather than more specific compensation for selected cutbacks considered, pointing to potential for contracts that induce self-rationing in return for lower premiums.

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    File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2004/wp0410.pdf
    File Function: revised version, 2007
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0410.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2004
    Date of revision: Jun 2007
    Publication status: published in The Patient, 1 (1), 2008, pp. 27-40
    Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0410

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    Related research

    Keywords: willingness-to-pay; health insurance; age; rationing;

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    References

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    1. Strombom, Bruce A. & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 2002. "Switching costs, price sensitivity and health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 89-116, January.
    2. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, October.
    3. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 1997. "The effect of price on switching among health plans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 231-247, April.
    4. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Rinaldo Brau & Matteo Lippi Bruni, 2006. "Eliciting the Demand for Long Term Care Coverage: A Discrete Choice Modelling Analysis," Working Papers 2006.71, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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