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Demand Patterns for Treatment Insurance in Norway

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  • Karl Ove Aarbu

Abstract

In Scandinavia, the provision of health care services has been, almost entirely, the responsibility of the public health care system. However, in the last five to seven years there has been remarkable growth in the private health care market. These health care services are obtained normally through insurance contracts. In this paper, I seek explanations for this phenomenon, using data from Norway. First, using available market data, I document that the market for private treatment insurance—often labelled as "jump the treatment queue insurance"—is growing rapidly. Thereafter, I present a theoretical model that identifies primary drivers for individual demand for treatment insurance. The third step is to analyse a unique survey data set that is combined with aggregate county data on treatment queues. The overall results indicate that public waiting lists affect the demand for privately bought insurance, while employer-provided insurance does not seem to be affected. I find strong preference for this type of insurance among smokers and the self-employed. Moreover, income is an important determinant of insurance demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Ove Aarbu, 2010. "Demand Patterns for Treatment Insurance in Norway," CESifo Working Paper Series 3021, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3021
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3021.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Jonathan Levin, 2010. "Beyond Testing: Empirical Models of Insurance Markets," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 311-336, September.
    2. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Barzel, Yoram, 1974. "A Theory of Rationing by Waiting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 73-95, April.
    4. Hoel, Michael & Saether, Erik Magnus, 2003. "Public health care with waiting time: the role of supplementary private health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 599-616, July.
    5. William H. Greene & David A. Hensher, 2008. "Modeling Ordered Choices: A Primer and Recent Developments," Working Papers 08-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    6. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan & F. Reed Johnson & William H. Desvousges, 2001. "Do Smokers Respond To Health Shocks?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 675-687, November.
    7. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2014. "Testing for Asymmetric Information Using “Unused Observables” in Insurance Markets: Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 81(4), pages 709-734, December.
    8. Besley, Timothy & Hall, John & Preston, Ian, 1999. "The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 155-181, May.
    9. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
    10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-984, September.
    11. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gravelle, Hugh & Schroyen, Fred, 2016. "Optimal hospital payment rules under rationing by random waiting," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 8/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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