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The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts

Author

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  • Juergen Jung

    () (Towson University)

  • Chung Tran

    () (Indiana University Bloomington)

Abstract

We analyze whether a consumer driven health care plan like the newly established Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can reduce health care expenditures in the United States and increase the fraction of the population with health insurance. Unlike previous literature, our analysis relies on a dynamic general equilibrium framework with heterogenous agents. We endogenize health care expenditure and insurance choice, so that the model fully accounts for feedback effects from both factor markets and insurance markets. We then highlight the importance of including general equilibrium effects into the policy analysis. Specifically, our results from numerical simulations indicate that the success of HSAs depends critically on the productivity of health and the annual contribution limit to HSAs. In addition, we find that taxpayers can face substantial costs when HSAs are introduced to insure more people and to curb aggregate health expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Caepr Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  • Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2007023
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheng-Ti Hung & Kevin X.D. Huang & Hui He, 2013. "Substituting Leisure for Health Expenditure: A General Equilibrium-Based Empirical Investigation," 2013 Meeting Papers 1310, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Hui He & Kevin x.d. Huang, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?--A General Equilibrium Macroeconomic Analysis," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00005, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2012. "The extension of social security coverage in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 439-458.
    4. Zhao, Kai, 2014. "Social security and the rise in health spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-37.
    5. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    6. Timothy J. Halliday & Hui He & Hao Zhang, 2009. "Health Investment over the Life-Cycle," Working Papers 200910, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    7. Kevin X. D. Huang & Hui He, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00021, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    8. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2015. "Social Health Insurance: A Quantitative Exploration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-629, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    9. Raquel Fonseca Benito & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Titus Galama & Arie Kapteyn, 2009. "On the Rise of Health Spending and Longevity," Working Papers WR-722, RAND Corporation.
    10. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Caepr Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    11. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2014. "Medical consumption over the life-cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 927-957, November.
    12. Kai (Jackie) Zhao, 2011. "Social Security and the Rise in Health Spending: A Macroeconomic Analysis," 2011 Meeting Papers 1061, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2017. "Optimal Progressive Income Taxation in a Bewley-Grossman Framework," Working Papers 2017-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2018.
    14. Zhigang Feng, 2009. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Alternative Reforms to the Health Insurance System in the U.S," Working Papers 0908, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Savings Accounts; Consumer Driven Health Care Plans; Health Insurance; Privatization of Health Care; General Equilibrium Health Uncertainty Model; Numerical Simulation of Health Care Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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