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Doctor-Visit Co-Payment Exemption for Children: First Look at the Data

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Abstract

This paper uses the abolition of children’s doctor-visit co-payments effective since April 2009 as a natural experiment to estimate the effect of those co-payments on the number of doctor visits made by children. As the policy change involved only children, we are able to use the adult part of the population as a control group in a difference-in-difference estimation. The paper approximates the number of doctor visits by consumption of prescription drugs, as visiting a doctor is the only way to obtain a prescription. Using three different pre-reform periods (January, February, and March 2009) and two post-reform periods (April and May 2009) the estimates reveal no overall effect of doctor-visit co-payments on the number of children’s doctor visits. Less convincingly and more tentatively, the estimates suggest a strategic shift of children’s doctor visits away from the last pre-reform toward the first post-reform month.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Zápal, 2010. "Doctor-Visit Co-Payment Exemption for Children: First Look at the Data," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 60(1), pages 58-72, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:60:y:2010:i:1:p:58-72
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    File URL: http://journal.fsv.cuni.cz/storage/1180_1180_str_58_72_-_zapal.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
    2. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Schaffner, Sandra, 2006. "Copayments in the German Health System: Does It Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 2290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. O'Brien, Bernie, 1989. "The effect of patient charges on the utilisation of prescription medicines," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 109-132, March.
    4. repec:zbw:rwidps:0043 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Schaffner, Sandra, 2006. "Copayments in the German Health System - Do They Work?," RWI Discussion Papers 43, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jana Votapkova & Pavlina Zilova, 2016. "The abolition of user charges and the demand for ambulatory visits: evidence from the Czech Republic," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    doctor visit co-payments; children; difference-in-difference;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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