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Co-pay and Feel Okay: Evidence of Illusory Health Gains from a Health Insurance Reform

  • Alfredo R. Paloyo

    ()

The reliability of general self-rated health status is examined using the reform of the public health insurance system of Germany in 2004 as a source of exogenous variation. Among others, the reform introduced a co-payment for ambulatory doctor visits and increased the co-payments for prescription drugs. This natural experiment allows identification of the causal impact of the program on self-assessed health and hence reveals the sensitivity of this subjective measure to a perturbation in the insurance system. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, the results indicate that after the policy intervention, the respondents in the treated group perceived their own health status as better than their hypothetical untreated state even when there is no discernible impact on actual health.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0142.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0142
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  1. Hwang, Yun Jae & Roe, Brian E. & Teisl, Mario F., 2005. "Does Price Signal Quality? Strategic Implications of Price as a Signal of Quality for the Case of Genetically Modified Food," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19509, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  18. repec:rwi:repape:0106 is not listed on IDEAS
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