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Health Insurance Mandates in a Model with Consumer Bankruptcy

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  • Gilad Sorek
  • David Benjamin

Abstract

We study insurance take-up choices by consumers who face medical-expense and income risks, knowing they can default on medical bills by filing bankruptcy. For a given bankruptcy system we explore total and distributional welfare effects of health insurance mandates, compared with pre-mandates market equilibrium. We consider different combinations of premium-subsides and out-of-insurance penalties, confining attention to budgetary neutral policies. We show that when insurance mandates are enforced through penalties only, the efficient take-up level may be incomplete. However, if mandates are supported also with premium subsidies full insurance coverage is efficient and can be also Pareto improving. Such policies are consistent with the incentives structure set in the ACA for insurance take-up.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilad Sorek & David Benjamin, 2015. "Health Insurance Mandates in a Model with Consumer Bankruptcy," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2015-05, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  • Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2015-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Consumer Bankruptcy; Health Insurance Mandates; Welfare;

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