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The Effect of Patient Cost Sharing on Utilization, Health, and Risk Protection

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  • Hitoshi Shigeoka

Abstract

This paper exploits a sharp reduction in patient cost sharing at age 70 in Japan, using a regression discontinuity design to examine its effect on utilization, health, and financial risk arising from out-of-pocket expenditures. Due to the national policy, cost sharing is 60–80 percent lower at age 70 than at age 69. I find that both outpatient and inpatient care are price sensitive among the elderly. While I find little impact on mortality and other health outcomes, the results show that reduced cost sharing is associated with lower out-of-pocket expenditures, especially at the right tail of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2014. "The Effect of Patient Cost Sharing on Utilization, Health, and Risk Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2152-2184, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:7:p:2152-84
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.7.2152
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Feldstein & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "A Major Risk Approach to Health Insurance Reform," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 103-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Finkelstein, Amy & McKnight, Robin, 2008. "What did Medicare do? The initial impact of Medicare on mortality and out of pocket medical spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1644-1668, July.
    3. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2005. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2093-2119, December.
    4. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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