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Health Insurance Status and Physician Behavior in Germany


  • Hendrik Jürges


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik Jürges, 2009. "Health Insurance Status and Physician Behavior in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 297-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v129_y2009_i1_q1_p297-307

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bünnings & Harald Tauchmann, 2015. "Who Opts out of the Statutory Health Insurance? A Discrete Time Hazard Model for Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(10), pages 1331-1347, October.
    2. Patrick Hullegie & Tobias J. Klein, 2010. "The effect of private health insurance on medical care utilization and self‐assessed health in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(9), pages 1048-1062, September.
    3. Denis Gerstorf & Nilam Ram & Jan Goebel & Jürgen Schupp & Ulman Lindenberger & Gert G. Wagner, 2010. "Where People Live and Die Makes a Difference: Individual and Geographic Disparities in Well-Being Progression at the End of Life," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 287, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Christian Bünnings & Harald Tauchmann, 2013. "Who Opts Out of the Statutory Health Insurance? A Discrete Time Hazard Model for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0458, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0458 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets


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