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Health Insurance and Competition in Health Care Markets

Listed author(s):
  • Gilad Sorek
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    I study duopolistic market for differentiated medical products. Medical providers decide whether to sell on the spot market to sick consumers or to sell through competitive insurance market to healthy consumers. While shopping for insurance consumers know only the distribution of possible medical needs they may have if they get sick. Only when getting sick their actual medical need reveals and diagnosed. Hence consumers on the insurance market have lower taste differentiation than the sick consumers who are shopping on the spot market. I find that in equilibrium providers sell only on the insurance market, even though this intensifies competition because of lower taste differentiation. Competition between providers under insurance sales brings premiums low enough to motivate consumers buying insurance for both products. Insurance sales generate efficient horizontal product differentiation, lower prices, and efficiently higher quality.

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    File URL: http://cla.auburn.edu/econwp/Archives/2015/2015-03.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Auburn University in its series Auburn Economics Working Paper Series with number auwp2015-03.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2015
    Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2015-03
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    Web page: http://cla.auburn.edu/economics/

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