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Measuring Consumer Valuation of Limited Provider Networks

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  • Keith Marzilli Ericson
  • Amanda Starc

Abstract

We measure the breadth of insurance networks in the Massachusetts health insurance exchange. Using our measures, we estimate consumer willingness-to-pay for broad and narrow networks. We find that consumers have a wide range of plans available with dramatically different networks. While consumers value broader networks, their willingness-to-pay is smaller than the brand premium, indicating an additional role for brand preferences. Consumers place additional value on star hospitals, which may affect upstream negotiations. Finally, we find significant geographic heterogeneity in the value of broad networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Marzilli Ericson & Amanda Starc, 2015. "Measuring Consumer Valuation of Limited Provider Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 115-119, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:115-19
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151082
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Ericson, Keith M. Marzilli & Starc, Amanda, 2016. "How product standardization affects choice: Evidence from the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 71-85.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ericson, Keith M. Marzilli & Starc, Amanda, 2016. "How product standardization affects choice: Evidence from the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 71-85.
    2. H. E. Frech & Peter Zweifel, 2017. "Market Socialism and Community Rating in Health Insurance," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(3), pages 405-427, September.
    3. Drake, Coleman, 2019. "What are consumers willing to pay for a broad network health plan?: Evidence from covered California," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 63-77.
    4. Stuart V. Craig & Keith Marzilli Ericson & Amanda Starc, 2018. "How Important Is Price Variation Between Health Insurers?," NBER Working Papers 25190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Keaton S. Miller & Amil Petrin & Robert Town & Michael Chernew, 2019. "Optimal Managed Competition Subsidies," NBER Working Papers 25616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Higuera, Lucas & Carlin, Caroline S. & Dowd, Bryan, 2018. "Narrow provider networks and willingness to pay for continuity of care and network breadth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 90-97.
    7. Atwood, Alicia & Lo Sasso, Anthony T., 2016. "The effect of narrow provider networks on health care use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 86-98.
    8. Leila Agha & Keith Marzilli Ericson & Kimberley H. Geissler & James B. Rebitzer, 2018. "Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks," NBER Working Papers 24338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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