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Integrated Insurance Design in the Presence of Multiple Medical Technologies

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  • Dana Goldman
  • Tomas Philipson

Abstract

The classic theory of moral hazard concerns the insurance of a single good and predicts that co-insurance is larger when the elasticity of demand is higher and when small risks are insured. We extend this analysis to the insurance of multiple goods; for example, the simultaneous insurance of medical services and prescription drugs. We show that when multiple goods are either complements or substitutes--so that a change in co-insurance for one service affects the demand of others--the classic moral hazard results do not hold. For example, the single good model would predict high co-payments for prescription drugs since drug demand is elastic and of modest financial risk. However, a model of multi-good insurance suggests such drug coverage may optimally involve zero or even negative co-insurance when it is a substitute to other services insured such as hospital care or physician services. We summarize some of the empirical evidence in support of markets adopting optimal integrated pricing structures rather than individually optimal pricing structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Dana Goldman & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Integrated Insurance Design in the Presence of Multiple Medical Technologies," NBER Working Papers 12870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12870
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Gaynor & Jian Li & William B. Vogt, 2006. "Is Drug Coverage a Free Lunch? Cross-Price Elasticities and the Design of Prescription Drug Benefits," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/166, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Pauly, Mark V. & Held, Philip J, 1990. "Benign moral hazard and the cost-effectiveness analysis of insurance coverage," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 447-461, December.
    3. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1996. "Do (More and Better) Drugs Keep People Out of Hospitals?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 384-388, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patricia Danzon & Adrian Towse & Jorge Mestre‐Ferrandiz, 2015. "Value‐Based Differential Pricing: Efficient Prices for Drugs in a Global Context," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 294-301, March.
    2. Ernst R. Berndt & Joseph P. Newhouse, 2010. "Pricing and Reimbursement in U.S. Pharmaceutical Markets," NBER Working Papers 16297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Katherine Baicker & Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein, 2015. "Behavioral Hazard in Health Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1623-1667.
    4. Boone, Jan, 2015. "Basic versus supplementary health insurance: Moral hazard and adverse selection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 50-58.
    5. Amanda Starc & Robert J. Town, 2015. "Externalities and Benefit Design in Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 21783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Basu, Anirban & Jena, Anupam B. & Philipson, Tomas J., 2011. "The impact of comparative effectiveness research on health and health care spending," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 695-706, July.
    7. Ellis, Randall P. & Manning, Willard G., 2007. "Optimal health insurance for prevention and treatment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1128-1150, December.
    8. Fiorio, Carlo V. & Siciliani, Luigi, 2010. "Co-payments and the demand for pharmaceuticals: Evidence from Italy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 835-841, July.
    9. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Maria Polyakova, 2016. "Private Provision of Social Insurance: Drug-specific Price Elasticities and Cost Sharing in Medicare Part D," NBER Working Papers 22277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Kosali Simon, 2008. "Medicare Part D's Effects on Elderly Drug Costs and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 14326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi & David M. Zimmer, 2009. "Dynamic Cost-offsets of Prescription Drug Expenditures: Panel Data Analysis Using a Copula-based Hurdle Model," NBER Working Papers 15191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Gruber & Robin McKnight, 2007. "Patient Cost-Sharing, Hospitalization Offsets, and the Design of Optimal Health Insurance for the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 12972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Munkin M & Trivedi P. K, 2009. "Incentives and Selection Effects of Drug Coverage on Total Drug Expenditure: a Finite Mixture Approach," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/22, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    14. Ellis, Randall P. & Jiang, Shenyi & Manning, Willard G., 2015. "Optimal health insurance for multiple goods and time periods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 89-106.
    15. Glazer Jacob & Huskamp Haiden A. & McGuire Thomas G., 2012. "A Prescription for Drug Formulary Evaluation: An Application of Price Indexes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 1-26, March.
    16. Jacques Drèze & Erik Schokkaert, 2013. "Arrow’s theorem of the deductible: Moral hazard and stop-loss in health insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 147-163, October.
    17. Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2008. "Mind the Gap! Consumer Perceptions and Choices," MEA discussion paper series 08156, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    18. Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Mind the Gap! Consumer Perceptions and Choices of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 413-481 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1452-1467 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2012. "A welfare measure of “offset effects” in health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 520-523.
    21. Melissa Boyle, 2008. "Costs and Benefits of Elderly Prescription Drug Coverage: Evidence from Veterans’ Health Care," Working Papers 0803, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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