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Discerning the Effects of Recent Private Health Insurance Policy Changes in Australia

Author

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  • Jongsay Yong
  • Alfons Palangkaraya

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jongsay Yong & Alfons Palangkaraya, 2004. "Discerning the Effects of Recent Private Health Insurance Policy Changes in Australia," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 183, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:183
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esAUSM04/up.20278.1077775395.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, March.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alfons Palangkaraya & Jongsay Yong, 2007. "How effective is “lifetime health cover” in raising private health insurance coverage in Australia? An assessment using regression discontinuity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(11), pages 1361-1374.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Insurance Demand; Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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