IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v25y2016i9p1073-1089.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Health Insurance Encourage the Rise in Medical Prices? A Test on Balance Billing in France

Author

Listed:
  • Brigitte Dormont
  • Mathilde Péron

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the causal impact of a positive shock on supplementary health insurance coverage on the use of specialists who balance bill. For that purpose, we evaluate the impact on patients' behavior of a shock consisting of better coverage of balance billing, while controlling for supply side drivers, i.e. proportions of physicians who balance bill and physicians who do not. We use a panel dataset of 58,336 individuals observed between January 2010 and December 2012, which provides information, at the individual level, on health care claims and reimbursements provided by basic and supplementary insurance. Our data makes it possible to observe enrollees that are heterogeneous in their propensity to use physicians who balance bill. We observe them when they are all covered by the same supplementary insurer, with no coverage for balance billing, and after 5,134 of them switched to other supplementary insurers which offer better coverage. Our estimations show that better coverage contributes to a rise in medical prices by increasing the demand for specialists who balance bill. On the whole sample, we find that better coverage leads individuals to raise their proportion of consultations of specialists who balance bill by 9 %, which results in a 34 % increase in the amount of balance billing per consultation. However, the effect of supplementary health insurance clearly depends on the local supply side organization. The inflationary impact arises when specialists who balance bill are numerous and specialists who do not are relatively scarce. When people have a real choice between physicians, a coverage shock has no impact on the use of specialists who balance bill. When the number of specialists who charge the regulated fee is sufficiently high, there is no evidence of limits in access to health care, nor of an inflationary effect of supplementary coverage.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Brigitte Dormont & Mathilde Péron, 2016. "Does Health Insurance Encourage the Rise in Medical Prices? A Test on Balance Billing in France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(9), pages 1073-1089, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:9:p:1073-1089
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Stephen P. Ryan & Paul Schrimpf & Mark R. Cullen, 2013. "Selection on Moral Hazard in Health Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 178-219, February.
    2. Izabela Jelovac, 2015. "Physicians’ balance billing, supplemental insurance and access to health care," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 269-280, June.
    3. Mitchell, Janet B. & Cromwell, Jerry, 1982. "Physician behavior under the medicare assignment option," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 245-264, December.
    4. Mathias Kifmann & Florian Scheuer, 2011. "Balance billing: the patients' perspective," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
    5. McKnight, Robin, 2007. "Medicare balance billing restrictions: Impacts on physicians and beneficiaries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 326-341, March.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1623 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2006. "Health insurance and imperfect competition in the health care market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1193-1202, November.
    8. Brigitte Dormont & Pierre-Yves Geoffard & Karine Lamiraud, 2009. "The influence of supplementary health insurance on switching behaviour: evidence from Swiss data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1339-1356.
    9. Chiu, W. Henry, 1997. "Health insurance and the welfare of health care consumers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 125-133, April.
    10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1970. "The Rising Price of Physicians' Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(2), pages 121-133, May.
    11. Glazer, Jacob & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 1993. "Should physicians be permitted to 'balance bill' patients?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 239-258, October.
    12. Feldstein, Martin S, 1973. "The Welfare Loss of Excess Health Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 251-280, Part I, M.
    13. Feldman, Roger & Dowd, Bryan, 1991. "A New Estimate of the Welfare Loss of Excess Health Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 297-301, March.
    14. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Thesis Thursday: Mathilde Péron
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2017-10-19 11:00:45

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Montmartin & Mathieu Escot, 2017. "Local Competition and Physicians’ Pricing Decisions: New Evidence from France," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-31, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    2. Péron, M.; & Dormont, B.;, 2018. "Heterogeneous moral hazard in Supplementary Health Insurance," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:9:p:1073-1089. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.