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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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 Enquête 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas C. Buchmueller & Agnès Couffinhal & Michel Grignon & Marc Perronnin, 2004. "Access to physician services: does supplemental insurance matter? Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 669-687.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:7:p:669-687
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.879
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Durand, Franck & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 1998. "Moral hazard and the demand for physician services: First lessons from a French natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 499-511, May.
    3. Ángel 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.
    4. 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 251-277, June.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Holly, Alberto & Gardiol, Lucien & Domenighetti, Gianfranco & Brigitte Bisig, 1998. "An econometric model of health care utilization and health insurance in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 513-522, May.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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