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Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Australia

Author

Listed:
  • Connelly, Luke B.
  • Paolucci, Francesco
  • Butler, James R.G.
  • Collins, Paul

Abstract

In April 2007, Australia introduced a risk equalisation (RE) scheme (de facto a claims equalisation scheme), which replaced an extant reinsurance scheme that had operated since 1976. This scheme is one of a number of policy measures that the Australian Government has instituted to support the voluntary private health insurance (PHI) market which is subject to mandatory community rating and the attendant problem of selection. The latter has been a persistent concern in the Australian PHI market since the introduction of Australia's universal, compulsory national health insurance scheme Medicare. This paper presents a brief overview of Australia's health care financing arrangements and, in particular, focuses on the history, structure and functioning of the RE scheme. It provides an exposition of the operation of the scheme and empirical evidence of the scheme's effects in its first full year of operation, 2007-08. The paper makes three contributions: first, it provides the only detailed overview of the functioning of the Australian RE scheme published to date; second, it presents the first empirical measures of the scheme's operation at the level of the 38 individual PHI funds; and third, it describes the systematic differences in the scheme's operation with respect to large and small funds. Thus, this paper provides a number of insights into the operation and outcomes of the Australian RE scheme following its first year of operation.

Suggested Citation

  • Connelly, Luke B. & Paolucci, Francesco & Butler, James R.G. & Collins, Paul, 2010. "Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Australia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-14, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:98:y:2010:i:1:p:3-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luke B Connelly & H Shelton Brown, 2006. "Lifetime Subsidies in Australian Private Health Insurance Markets with Community Rating," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 31(4), pages 705-719, October.
    2. Paolucci, Francesco & Exter, Andre Den & De Ven, Wynand Van, 2006. "Solidarity in competitive health insurance markets: analysing the relevant EC legal framework," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 107-126, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2017. "Georgia Public Expenditure Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27138, The World Bank.
    2. Francesco Paolucci & Amir Shmueli, 2011. "The Introduction of Ex-ante Risk Equalisation in the Australian Private Health Insurance Market: A First Step," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 71-92.
    3. repec:spr:aphecp:v:15:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s40258-017-0330-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mazzanti, Giovanni Maria & Fiorentini, Gianluca, 2012. "Proposte per una revisione del finanziamento e dell’offerta dei servizi odontoiatrici in Italia. L’intervento pubblico e i fondi integrativi," AICCON Working Papers 100-2012, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    5. Armstrong, John & Paolucci, Francesco & McLeod, Heather & van de Ven, Wynand P.M.M., 2010. "Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets: A three country comparison," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 39-49, November.
    6. Armstrong, John, 2010. "Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Ireland," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 15-26, November.

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