Premium Subsidies and Social Insurance: Substitutes or Complements?
Premium subsidies have been advocated as an alternative to social health insurance. These subsidies are paid if expenditure on health insurance exceeds a given share of income. In this paper, we examine whether this approach is superior to social insurance from a welfare perspective. We show that the results crucially depend on the correlation of health and productivity. For a positive correlation, we find that combining premium subsidies with social insurance is the optimal policy.
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