Discerning the Effects of Recent Private Health Insurance Policy Changes in Australia
The Australian government implemented several new policy initiatives during 1997--2000, with the stated aim of raising the take-up rate of private health insurance. Taken together, these policy initiatives were quite effective, the proportion of the population with private health insurance cover increased by more than 35\%. However, much less clear is the effectiveness of different components of the policies, due to their sequential implementation. Since there are large cost differences in implementing these policies, an understanding of the effects of each policy is important for policymaking. This paper attempts to isolate the effects of different policies using the 1995 and 2001 National Health Survey data. The two datasets allow the estimation of private health insurance demands before and after the policy changes. The results were used to perform a counterfactual analysis of what would have happened had there been no new policies. Further, utilizing the age-specific aspect of Lifetime Health Cover, we are able to isolate its contribution to within 42\% and 75\% of the increase in private health insurance membership.
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- Cameron, A. Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K., 1991. "The role of income and health risk in the choice of health insurance : Evidence from Australia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, June.
- H.E. Frech Iii & Sandra Hopkins & Garry Macdonald, 2003. "The Australian Private Health Insurance Boom: Was It Subsidies Or Liberalised Regulation?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(1), pages 58-64, 03.