Supply or Demand: Why is the Market for Long-Term Care Insurance So Small?
Long-term care represents one of the largest uninsured financial risks facing the elderly in the United States. Whether the small size of this market is driven primarily by supply side market imperfections or by limitations to demand, however, is unresolved, largely due to the paucity of data about the structure of the private market. We provide what is to our knowledge the first empirical evidence on the pricing and benefit structure of long-term care insurance policies. We estimate that the typical policy purchased by a 65-year old has an average pricing load of about 18 percent and has a very limited benefit structure, covering only one-third of the expected present discounted value of long-term care expenditures. These findings are consistent with the presence of supply side market imperfections. However, we also find enormous gender differences in pricing -- typical loads are 44 cents on the dollar for men but better than actuarially fair for women -- that do not translate into differences in coverage. And, although purchased policies provide limited benefits, we demonstrate that more comprehensive policies are widely-available at similar loads, but are rarely purchased. These findings suggest that while supply-side market imperfections exist, they are not the primary cause of the small size of the private long-term care insurance market.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Brown, Jeffrey R. and Amy Finkelstein. "Why is the Market for Long-Term Care Insurance So Small?" Journal of Public Economics, Volume 91, Issue 10, November 2007, Pages 1967-1991|
|Note:||AG HE PE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002.
"The Rise in Old-Age Longevity and the Market for Long-Term Care,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 295-306, March.
- Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 1998. "The Rise in Old Age Longevity and the Market for Long-Term Care," NBER Working Papers 6547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas Philipson & Darius Lakdawalla, 1998. "The Rise in Old Age Longevity and the Market for Long-Term Care," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 146, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
- Sloan, Frank A & Norton, Edward C, 1997. "Adverse Selection, Bequests, Crowding Out, and Private Demand for Insurance: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 201-19, December.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
- Joseph P. Newhouse, 2004. "Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640589, June.
- Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2002. "Selection Effects in the United Kingdom Individual Annuities Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 28-50, January.
- Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry & Amir Sufi, 2005.
"Dynamic Inefficiencies in Insurance Markets: Evidence from long-term care insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
11039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry & Amir Sufi, 2005. "Dynamic Inefficiencies in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Long-Term Care Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 224-228, May.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2000. "Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products," NBER Working Papers 7812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Darius Lakdawalla & Dana Goldman & Jay Bhattacharya, 2001. "Are the Young Becoming More Disabled?," NBER Working Papers 8247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew Dick & Alan M. Garber & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 1994. "Forecasting Nursing Home Utilization of Elderly Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 365-394 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2003. "Private Information and its Effect on Market Equilibrium: New Evidence from Long-Term Care Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
- Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "The Rational Nonpurchase of Long-term-Care Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 153-68, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10782. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.