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Access to physician services: does supplemental insurance matter? Evidence from France

  • Thomas C. Buchmueller
  • Agnès Couffinhal

    (Centre de Recherche d'Etudes et de Documentation en Economie de la Santé, Paris, France)

  • Michel Grignon

    (Centre de Recherche d'Etudes et de Documentation en Economie de la Santé, Paris, France)

  • Marc Perronnin

    (Centre de Recherche d'Etudes et de Documentation en Economie de la Santé, Paris, France)

In France, public health insurance is universal but incomplete, with private payments accounting for roughly 25% of all spending. As a result, most people have supplemental private health insurance. We investigate the effects of such insurance on the utilization of physician services using data from the 1998 Enqu�te sur la santé et la protection sociale, a nationally representative survey of the non-institutionalized French population. Our results indicate that insurance has a strong and significant effect on the utilization of physician services. Individuals with supplemental coverage have substantially more physician visits than those without. While French patients have greater freedom than patients in other countries to choose to see a specialist rather than a general practitioner, we find no evidence that supplemental insurance affects this decision. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.879
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 669-687

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:7:p:669-687
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Colm Harmon & Brian Nolan, 2001. "Health insurance and health services utilization in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 135-145.
  2. Alberto HOLLY & Lucien GARDIOL & Gianfranco DOMENIGHETTI & Brigitte BISIG, 1998. "An Econometric Model of Health Care Utilization and Health Insurance in Switzerland," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9803, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  3. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  4. Chiappori, P.A. & Durand, F. & Geoffard, P.Y., 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Demand for Physician Services: First Lessons from a French Natural Experiment," DELTA Working Papers 98-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Martin Schellhorn, 2001. "The effect of variable health insurance deductibles on the demand for physician visits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 441-456.
  6. Ettner, Susan L., 1997. "Adverse selection and the purchase of Medigap insurance by the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 543-562, October.
  7. �ngel Marcos Vera-Hernández, 1999. "Duplicate coverage and demand for health care. The case of Catalonia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(7), pages 579-598.
  8. Pascale Genier, 1998. "Assurance et recours aux soins. Une analyse microéconométrique à partir de l'enquête Santé 1991-1992 de l'Insee," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 49(3), pages 809-819.
  9. Amir Shmueli, 2001. "The effect of health on acute care supplemental insurance ownership: an empirical analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 341-350.
  10. Hurd, Michael D. & McGarry, Kathleen, 1997. "Medical insurance and the use of health care services by the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 129-154, April.
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