IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/21541.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulation of Insurance with Adverse Selection and Switching Costs: Evidence from Medicare Part D

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Polyakova

Abstract

I take advantage of regulatory and pricing dynamics in Medicare Part D to empirically explore interactions among adverse selection, switching costs, and regulation. I first document novel evidence of adverse selection and switching costs within Part D using detailed administrative data. I then estimate a contract choice and pricing model in order to quantify the importance of switching costs for risk-sorting, and for policies that may affect risk sorting. I first find that in Part D, switching costs help sustain an adversely-selected equilibrium and are likely to mute the ability of ACA policies to improve risk allocation across contracts, leading to higher premiums for some enrollees. I then estimate that, overall, decreasing the cost of active decision-making in the Part D environment could lead to a substantial gain in consumer surplus of on average $400-$600 per capita, which is around 20%-30% of average annual per capita drug spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Polyakova, 2015. "Regulation of Insurance with Adverse Selection and Switching Costs: Evidence from Medicare Part D," NBER Working Papers 21541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21541
    Note: AG HC HE IO PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21541.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kate Ho & Joseph Hogan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2017. "The impact of consumer inattention on insurer pricing in the Medicare Part D program," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(4), pages 877-905, December.
    2. repec:mpr:mprres:7375 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Jonathan Levin, 2010. "Beyond Testing: Empirical Models of Insurance Markets," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 311-336, September.
    4. Francesco Decarolis, 2015. "Medicare Part D: Are Insurers Gaming the Low Income Subsidy Design?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1547-1580, April.
    5. Mark Duggan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2010. "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 590-607, March.
    6. Jason Abaluck & Jonathan Gruber, 2011. "Choice Inconsistencies among the Elderly: Evidence from Plan Choice in the Medicare Part D Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1180-1210, June.
    7. Heiss, Florian & Winschel, Viktor, 2008. "Likelihood approximation by numerical integration on sparse grids," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 62-80, May.
    8. Claudio Lucarelli & Jeffrey Prince & Kosali Simon, 2012. "The Welfare Impact Of Reducing Choice In Medicare Part D: A Comparison Of Two Regulation Strategies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1155-1177, November.
    9. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson, 2014. "Consumer Inertia and Firm Pricing in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Insurance Exchange," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 38-64, February.
    10. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1557-1700, Elsevier.
    11. Heiss, Florian & Leive, Adam & McFadden, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2013. "Plan selection in Medicare Part D: Evidence from administrative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1325-1344.
    12. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark R. Cullen, 2010. "Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 877-921.
    13. Bo E. Honoré & Elie Tamer, 2006. "Bounds on Parameters in Panel Dynamic Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 611-629, May.
    14. Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Lee C. Vermeulen & Marian V. Wrobel, 2012. "Comparison Friction: Experimental Evidence from Medicare Drug Plans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 199-235.
    15. Joskow, Paul L. & Rose, Nancy L., 1989. "The effects of economic regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 1449-1506, Elsevier.
    16. Jason Abaluck & Jonathan Gruber, 2013. "Evolving Choice Inconsistencies in Choice of Prescription Drug Insurance," NBER Working Papers 19163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson & Amanda Starc, 2015. "Pricing Regulation and Imperfect Competition on the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 667-682, July.
    18. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Paul Schrimpf, 2015. "The Response of Drug Expenditure to Nonlinear Contract Design: Evidence from Medicare Part D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 841-899.
    19. Francesco Decarolis & Maria Polyakova & Stephen P. Ryan, 2020. "Subsidy Design in Privately Provided Social Insurance: Lessons from Medicare Part D," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(5), pages 1712-1752.
    20. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Søren Leth-Petersen & Torben Heien Nielsen & Tore Olsen, 2014. "Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowd-Out in Retirement Savings Accounts: Evidence from Denmark," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1141-1219.
    21. Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Regulation of private health insurance markets: Lessons from enrollment, plan type choice, and adverse selection in Medicare Part D," NBER Working Papers 15392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Mark Duggan & Patrick Healy & Fiona Scott Morton, 2008. "Providing Prescription Drug Coverage to the Elderly: America's Experiment with Medicare Part D," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 69-92, Fall.
    23. Jean‐Pierre Dubé & Günter J. Hitsch & Peter E. Rossi, 2010. "State dependence and alternative explanations for consumer inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 417-445, September.
    24. Amanda Starc, 2014. "Insurer pricing and consumer welfare: evidence from Medigap," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(1), pages 198-220, March.
    25. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1967-2072, Elsevier.
    26. Colleen Carey, 2017. "Technological Change and Risk Adjustment: Benefit Design Incentives in Medicare Part D," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 38-73, February.
    27. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, November.
    28. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Claudio Lucarelli & Christopher A. Powers, 2015. "Paying Attention or Paying Too Much in Medicare Part D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 204-233, January.
    29. M. Kate Bundorf & Jonathan Levin & Neale Mahoney, 2012. "Pricing and Welfare in Health Plan Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3214-3248, December.
    30. Arne Risa Hole, 2007. "Fitting mixed logit models by using maximum simulated likelihood," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(3), pages 388-401, September.
    31. Benjamin R. Handel, 2013. "Adverse Selection and Inertia in Health Insurance Markets: When Nudging Hurts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2643-2682, December.
    32. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
    33. Heckman, James J, 1991. "Identifying the Hand of the Past: Distinguishing State Dependence from Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 75-79, May.
    34. J. Miguel Villas-Boas & Russell S. Winer, 1999. "Endogeneity in Brand Choice Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(10), pages 1324-1338, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Martin Gaynor & Kate Ho & Robert J. Town, 2015. "The Industrial Organization of Health-Care Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 235-284, June.
    2. Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter & Amelie Wuppermann & Bo Zhou, 2016. "Inattention and Switching Costs as Sources of Inertia in Medicare Part D," NBER Working Papers 22765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Francesco Decarolis & Maria Polyakova & Stephen P. Ryan, 2020. "Subsidy Design in Privately Provided Social Insurance: Lessons from Medicare Part D," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(5), pages 1712-1752.
    4. Kate Ho & Joseph Hogan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2017. "The impact of consumer inattention on insurer pricing in the Medicare Part D program," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(4), pages 877-905, December.
    5. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Nicolai V. Kuminoff & Christopher A. Powers, 2016. "Estimating the Heterogeneous Welfare Effects of Choice Architecture: An Application to the Medicare Prescription Drug Insurance Market," NBER Working Papers 22732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sonia Jaffe & Mark Shepard, 2017. "Price-Linked Subsidies and Health Insurance Markups," Working Papers 2017-084, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Sonia P. Jaffe & Mark Shepard, 2017. "Price-Linked Subsidies and Imperfect Competition in Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 23104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Chorniy, Anna & Miller, Daniel & Tang, Tilan, 2020. "Mergers in Medicare Part D: Assessing market power, cost efficiencies, and bargaining power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    9. Kesternich, Iris & Heiss, Florian & McFadden, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2013. "Suit the action to the word, the word to the action: Hypothetical choices and real decisions in Medicare Part D," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1313-1324.
    10. 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.
    11. Nathaniel Hendren & Camille Landais & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2021. "Choice in Insurance Markets: A Pigouvian Approach to Social Insurance Design," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 13(1), pages 457-486, August.
    12. Heiss, Florian & Leive, Adam & McFadden, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2013. "Plan selection in Medicare Part D: Evidence from administrative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1325-1344.
    13. Daniel P. Miller & Jungwon Yeo, 2019. "The Consequences of a Public Health Insurance Option: Evidence from Medicare Part D," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 5(2), pages 191-226, Spring.
    14. Nathaniel Hendren & Camille Landais & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2020. "Choice in Insurance Markets: A Pigouvian Approach to Social Insurance Design," NBER Working Papers 27842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Leemore Dafny & Jonathan Gruber & Christopher Ody, 2015. "More Insurers Lower Premiums: Evidence from Initial Pricing in the Health Insurance Marketplaces," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 53-81, Winter.
    16. M. Kate Bundorf & Maria Polyakova & Ming Tai-Seale, 2019. "How do Humans Interact with Algorithms? Experimental Evidence from Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 25976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Yeo, Jungwon & Miller, Daniel P., 2018. "Estimating switching costs with market share data: an application to Medicare Part D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 459-501.
    18. Jason Abaluck & Jonathan Gruber, 2016. "Improving the Quality of Choices in Health Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 22917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Johannes Spinnewijn, 2017. "Heterogeneity, Demand for Insurance, and Adverse Selection," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 308-343, February.
    20. Tomas Pedro Sanguinetti, 2019. "How Do Couples Choose Individual Insurance Plans? Evidence from Medicare Part D," 2019 Papers psa1760, Job Market Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L78 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21541. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.