Doctor-Visit Co-Payment Exemption for Children: First Look at the Data
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.
Volume (Year): 60 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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- Boris Augurzky & Thomas Bauer & Sandra Schaffner, 2006. "Copayments in the German Health System – Do They Work?," RWI Discussion Papers 0043, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
- 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.
- 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.
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