Voluntary Private Health Care Insurance Among the Over Fifties in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of SHARE Data
Using data from SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe), we analyze the effect of having a voluntary health insurance policy (VPHI) on out-of-pocket (OOP) health spending for individuals aged 50 or more in a host of European countries. We control for self selection into VPHI policy holding, and find that VPHI policy holders do not have lower OOP's than the rest of the population. In Southern European countries and Austria they even spend more. We also find that the main determinants of VPHI are different in each country and this reflects the differences in the underlying health care systems.
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