Gold and Silver health plans: Accommodating demand heterogeneity in managed competition
New regulation of health insurance markets creates multiple levels of health plans, with designations like “Gold” and “Silver.” The underlying rationale for the heavy-metal approach to insurance regulation is that heterogeneity in demand for health care is not only due to health status (sick demand more than the healthy) but also to other, “taste” related factors (rich demand more than the poor). This paper models managed competition with demand heterogeneity to consider plan payment and enrollee premium policies in relation to efficiency (net consumer benefit) and fairness (the European concept of “solidarity”). Specifically, this paper studies how to implement a “Silver” and “Gold” health plan efficiently and fairly in a managed competition context. We show that there are sharp tradeoffs between efficiency and fairness. When health plans cannot or may not (because of regulation) base premiums on any factors affecting demand, enrollees do not choose the efficient plan. When taste (e.g., income) can be used as a basis of payment, a simple tax can achieve both efficiency and fairness. When only health status (and not taste) can be used as a basis of payment, health status-based taxes and subsidies are required and efficiency can only be achieved with a modified version of fairness we refer to as “weak solidarity.” An overriding conclusion is that the regulation of premiums for both the basic and the higher level plans is necessary for efficiency.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- M. Bundorf & Jonathan Levin & Neale Mahoney, 2008.
"Pricing and Welfare in Health Plan Choice,"
07-047, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:90:y:1976:i:4:p:630-49 is not listed on IDEAS
- Miller, Nolan H., 2005. "Pricing health benefits: A cost-minimization approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 931-949, September.
- Keeler, Emmett B. & Carter, Grace & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1998. "A model of the impact of reimbursement schemes on health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 297-320, June.
- Frank, Richard G. & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Measuring adverse selection in managed health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 829-854, November.
- Olivella, Pau & Vera-Hernandez, Marcos, 2007. "Competition among differentiated health plans under adverse selection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 233-250, March.
- William E. Encinosa & David E. M. Sappington, 1997. "Competition among Health Maintenance Organizations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 129-150, 03.
- Encinosa, William, 2001. "The economics of regulatory mandates on the HMO market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 85-107, January.
- Michael Smart, 1996.
"Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables,"
msmart-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Smart, Michael, 2000. "Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 153-69, February.
- Diamond, Peter, 1992. "Organizing the Health Insurance Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1233-54, November.
- Sen, Amartya, 2009. "Capitalism Beyond the Crisis," Scholarly Articles 2961699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Jack, William, 2006. "Optimal risk adjustment with adverse selection and spatial competition," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 908-926, September.
- Van de ven, Wynand P.M.M. & Ellis, Randall P., 2000. "Risk adjustment in competitive health plan markets," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 755-845 Elsevier.
- David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Trade-Off between Competition and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466.
- Pauly, Mark V. & Ramsey, Scott D., 1999. "Would you like suspenders to go with that belt? An analysis of optimal combinations of cost sharing and managed care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 443-458, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:1011-1019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.