Arrow’s theorem of the deductible: moral hazard and stop-loss in health insurance
We show that the logic of Arrow's theorem of the deductible, i.e. that it is optimal to focus insurance coverage on the states with largest expenditures, remains at work in a model with ex post moral hazard. The optimal insurance contract takes the form of a system of "implicit deductibles", i.e. it results in the same indemnities as a contract with full insurance above a variable deductible positively related to the elasticity of medical expenditures with respect to the insurance rate. In a model with an explicit stop-loss arrangement, i.e. with a predefined ceiling on the annual expenses of the insured, this stop-loss takes the form of a deductible, i.e. there is no reimbursement for expenses below the stop-loss amount. One motivation to have some insurance below the deductible arises if regular health care expenditures in a situation of standard health have a negative effect on the probability of getting into a state with large medical expenses.
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