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The Impact of a Public Option in the Health Insurance Market

Author

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  • Barbos, Andrei
  • Deng, Yi

Abstract

We develop a game-theoretical model to examine the implications of the introduction of a non-profit "public option" in the U.S. health insurance market, in which a continuum of heterogeneous consumers, each facing unknown medical expenditures and differing in their expectations of such expenditures, have to choose between a profit-maximizing private insurance plan and a social-welfare-maximizing public plan. We then estimate and calibrate the model based on the U.S. data and quantify the Nash equilibrium of the market structure. Empirical results suggest that private insurer will still represent a significant part of the insurance market and generate a substantially positive profit.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbos, Andrei & Deng, Yi, 2012. "The Impact of a Public Option in the Health Insurance Market," MPRA Paper 40849, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40849
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2008. "The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1083-1102, June.
    2. Ham, John C. & Shore-Sheppard, Lara, 2005. "The effect of Medicaid expansions for low-income children on Medicaid participation and private insurance coverage: evidence from the SIPP," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 57-83, January.
    3. Lo Sasso, Anthony T. & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2004. "The effect of the state children's health insurance program on health insurance coverage," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1059-1082, September.
    4. Anirban Basu & Willard G. Manning & John Mullahy, 2004. "Comparing alternative models: log vs Cox proportional hazard?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(8), pages 749-765.
    5. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    6. Leemore S. Dafny, 2010. "Are Health Insurance Markets Competitive?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1399-1431, September.
    7. Gruber, Jonathan & Simon, Kosali, 2008. "Crowd-out 10 years later: Have recent public insurance expansions crowded out private health insurance?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 201-217, March.
    8. Krawczyk, Jacek & Zuccollo, James, 2006. "NIRA-3: An improved MATLAB package for finding Nash equilibria in infinite games," MPRA Paper 1119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Rask, Kevin N. & Rask, Kimberly J., 2000. "Public insurance substituting for private insurance: new evidence regarding public hospitals, uncompensated care funds, and medicaid," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Would a public option drive private health insurance out?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-09-12 19:41:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Option; Health Insurance Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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