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Exit, Voice or Loyalty? An Investigation into Mandated Portability of Front-Loaded Private Health Plans

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  • Juan Pablo Atal

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Hanming Fang

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Martin Karlsson

    (Department of Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Nicolas Ziebarth

    (Department of Economics, Cornell University)

Abstract

We study theoretically and empirically how consumers in an individual private long-term health insurance market with front-loaded contracts respond to newly mandated portability requirements of their old-age provisions. To foster competition, effective 2009, German legislature made the portability of standardized old-age provisions mandatory. Our theoretical model predicts that the portability reform will increase internal plan switching. However, under plausible assumptions, it will not increase external insurer switching. Moreover, the portability reform will enable unhealthier enrollees to reoptimize their plans. We find confirmatory evidence for the theoretical predictions using claims panel data from a big private insurer.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Pablo Atal & Hanming Fang & Martin Karlsson & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2017. "Exit, Voice or Loyalty? An Investigation into Mandated Portability of Front-Loaded Private Health Plans," PIER Working Paper Archive 17-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 23 May 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:17-012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Werbeck, Anna & Wübker, Ansgar & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2021. "Cream skimming by health care providers and inequality in health care access: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 1325-1350.
    2. Juan Pablo Atal & Hanming Fang & Martin Karlsson & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2020. "Long-Term Health Insurance: Theory Meets Evidence," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-009, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Juan Pablo Atal, 2019. "Lock-in in Dynamic Health Insurance Contracts: Evidence from Chile," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    individual private health insurance; portability; old-age provisions; health plan switching; switching costs; health policy reform; consumer bargaining; retention;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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