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Cross product subsidization in the health insurance market with managed care: A model and issues

  • Kevin Frick
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    One theory of insurance markets suggests that entering insurers expect incumbent insurers to react to the entry of new products, offering a combination of products where, breaking even, one makes positive economic profits and the other makes a loss. This theory is extended to include moral hazard, in which the magnitude of the loss depends on insurance coverage, and a stylized model of managed care. With moral hazard, cross-subsidization is still predicted. In contrast to prior results, the coverage for the highest risk individuals will vary with the portion of high-risk individuals in the market. The inclusion of managed care as a signaling instrument does not disrupt cross-product subsidization. These theoretical predictions are discussed in light of the absence of empirical support to date and in light of other factors that might limit or enhance an insurer's ability to subsidize across products. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 1999

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02300233
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    Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 27 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 121-134

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:27:y:1999:i:2:p:121-134
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    1. Wholey, Douglas & Feldman, Roger & Christianson, Jon B., 1995. "The effect of market structure on HMO premiums," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 81-105, May.
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    3. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    4. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1996. "Reimbursing Health Plans and Health Providers: Efficiency in Production versus Selection," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1236-1263, September.
    5. Levy, Haim, 1994. "Absolute and Relative Risk Aversion: An Experimental Study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 289-307, May.
    6. Spence, Michael, 1978. "Product differentiation and performance in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-447, December.
    7. James R. Baumgardner, 1991. "The Interaction between Forms of Insurance Contract and Types of Technical Change in Medical Care," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 36-53, Spring.
    8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
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