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Strategic Formulary Design in Medicare Part D Plans

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  • Kurt Lavetti
  • Kosali Simon

Abstract

The design of Medicare Part D causes most beneficiaries to receive fragmented health insurance, with drug and medical coverage separated. Fragmentation is potentially inefficient since separate insurers optimize over only one component of healthcare spending, despite complementarities and substitutabilities between healthcare types. Fragmentation of only some plans can also lead to market distortions due to differential adverse selection, as integrated plans may use drug formularies to induce enrollment by patients that are profitable in the medical insurance market. We study the design of insurance plans in Medicare Part D and find that formularies reflect these two differences in incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt Lavetti & Kosali Simon, 2018. "Strategic Formulary Design in Medicare Part D Plans," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 154-192, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:154-92
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20160248
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Fioretti & Hongming Wang, 2019. "Subsidizing Inequality: Performance Pay and Risk Selection in Medicare," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2019-15, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    2. Jonathan Gruber, 2017. "Delivering Public Health Insurance through Private Plan Choice in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
    3. Michael Geruso & Timothy Layton & Daniel Prinz, 2019. "Screening in Contract Design: Evidence from the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 64-107, May.
    4. Bijlsma, Michiel & Boone, Jan & Zwart, Gijsbert, 2017. "The complementarity between risk adjustment and community rating: Distorting market outcomes to facilitate redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 21-37.
    5. Michael Geruso & Timothy J. Layton, 2017. "Selection in Health Insurance Markets and Its Policy Remedies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 23-50, Fall.
    6. Geruso, Michael & Layton, Timothy J. & McCormack, Grace & Shepard, Mark, 2019. "The Two Margin Problem in Insurance Markets," Working Paper Series rwp19-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Michele Fioretti & Hongming Wang, 2020. "Performance Pay in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Medicare," Working Papers 2020.03, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    8. David Dranove & Christopher Ody & Amanda Starc, 2021. "A Dose of Managed Care: Controlling Drug Spending in Medicaid," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 170-197, January.
    9. A. A. Withagen-Koster & R. C. Kleef & F. Eijkenaar, 2020. "Incorporating self-reported health measures in risk equalization through constrained regression," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(4), pages 513-528, June.
    10. Timothy Layton & Alice K. Ndikumana & Mark Shepard, 2017. "Health Plan Payment in Medicaid Managed Care: A Hybrid Model of Regulated Competition," NBER Working Papers 23518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Nathan Kettlewell, 2020. "Policy Choice and Product Bundling in a Complicated Health Insurance Market: Do People Get It Right?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(2), pages 566-610.
    12. Ausmita Ghosh & Kosali Simon & Benjamin D. Sommers, 2017. "The Effect of State Medicaid Expansions on Prescription Drug Use: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act," NBER Working Papers 23044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Martin Andersen, 2017. "Constraints on Formulary Design Under the Affordable Care Act," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 160-178, December.
    14. Savannah L. Bergquist & Timothy J. Layton & Thomas G. McGuire & Sherri Rose, 2018. "Intervening on the Data to Improve the Performance of Health Plan Payment Methods," NBER Working Papers 24491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Ghosh, Ausmita & Simon, Kosali & Sommers, Benjamin D., 2019. "The Effect of Health Insurance on Prescription Drug Use Among Low-Income Adults:Evidence from Recent Medicaid Expansions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 64-80.
    16. Bergquist, Savannah L. & Layton, Timothy J. & McGuire, Thomas G. & Rose, Sherri, 2019. "Data transformations to improve the performance of health plan payment methods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 195-207.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • 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
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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