Health Insurance Status and Physician Behavior in Germany
Germany has a two-tier system of statutory and primary private health insurance. Both insurance types provide fee-for-service insurance, but chargeable fees for identical services are more than twice as large for privately insured as for statutorily insured patients. Using German SOEP 2002 data, I analyze the effect of insurance status on the insured's number of doctor visits. Conditional on health, privately insured patients are less likely to contact a physician than publicly insured but more frequently visit a doctor following a first contact. This is indirect evidence for the hypothesis that physicians over-treat privately insured patients at least relative to the statutorily insured.
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Volume (Year): 129 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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