IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Cost Sharing in Health Insurance: An Instrument for Risk Selection?

  • Karolin Becker

    ()

    (Plaut Economics, Olten)

  • Peter Zweifel

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Registered author(s):

    Health insurance is potentially subject to risk selection, i.e. adverse selection on the part of consumers and cream skimming on the part of insurers. Adverse selection models predict that competitive health insurers can eschew high-risk individuals by o�ering contracts with low deductibles or co-payment rates, while attracting low-risk individuals with higher copayments, resulting in a separating equilibrium. This contribution seeks to determine whether in competitive Swiss social health insurance policies with deductibles in excess of the legal minimum do indeed serve as an instrument of risk selection. In a discrete choice experiment, e�ected in 2003, some 1,000 individuals were given the hypothetical choice of alternative insurance contracts that differed both in terms of deductibles and copayments and in bene.ts covered. Results suggest that healthy individuals, i.e. those not having consulted medical services during the past six months, were more likely to select a policy with a high deductible. Compensation demanded for voluntarily accepting an increase in the annual deductible also varies with socioeconomic characteristics and increases with the current level of deductible, as predicted by theory and constituting evidence in favor of the risk selection hypothesis. The experiment allows to compute necessary premium reductions and provides guidance for the pricing policy of insurers when o�ering di�erentiated products.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_soi/wp0513.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2005
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0513.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0513
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich

    Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
    Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
    Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Christophe Courbage & Augustin de Coulon, 2004. "Prevention and Private Health Insurance in the U.K," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 719-727, October.
    2. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 1997. "The effect of price on switching among health plans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 231-247, April.
    3. Fernando San Miguel & Mandy Ryan & Mabelle Amaya-Amaya, 2005. "'Irrational' stated preferences: a quantitative and qualitative investigation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 307-322.
    4. Hensher, David & Louviere, Jordan & Swait, Joffre, 1998. "Combining sources of preference data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 197-221, November.
    5. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2.
    6. Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-88, November.
    7. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Markus Meiers, 1999. "Ageing of population and health care expenditure: a red herring?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 485-496.
    8. Lehmann, Hansjorg & Zweifel, Peter, 2004. "Innovation and risk selection in deregulated social health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 997-1012, September.
    9. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "Ordered response models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 167-181, March.
    10. Chiappori, P.A. & Durand, F. & Geoffard, P.Y., 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Demand for Physician Services: First Lessons from a French Natural Experiment," DELTA Working Papers 98-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    11. Ellis, Randall P. & McGuire, Thomas G., 1990. "Optimal payment systems for health services," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 375-396, December.
    12. Martin Schellhorn, 2001. "The effect of variable health insurance deductibles on the demand for physician visits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 441-456.
    13. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
    14. Daniel McFadden, 2001. "Economic Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
    15. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, September.
    16. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
    17. Mandy Ryan, 2004. "A comparison of stated preference methods for estimating monetary values," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 291-296.
    18. Asheim, Geir B. & Emblem, Anne Wenche & Nilssen, Tore, 2003. "Deductibles in Health Insurances: Pay or Pain?," Memorandum 13/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    19. Anna Merino, 2003. "Demand for pharmaceutical drugs: A choice modelling experiment," Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics 704, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    20. David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Trade-Off between Competition and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466.
    21. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
    22. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    23. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
    24. Mark V. Pauly, 1974. "Overinsurance and Public Provision of Insurance: The Roles of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 44-62.
    25. Zweifel, Peter & Manning, Willard G., 2000. "Moral hazard and consumer incentives in health care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 409-459 Elsevier.
    26. Holly, Alberto & Gardiol, Lucien & Domenighetti, Gianfranco & Brigitte Bisig, 1998. "An econometric model of health care utilization and health insurance in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 513-522, May.
    27. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    28. Johannes Schwarze & Hanfried H. Andersen, 2001. "Kassenwechsel in der gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung: welche Rolle spielt der Beitragssatz?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 267, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    29. Raviv, Artur, 1979. "The Design of an Optimal Insurance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 84-96, March.
    30. Anna Merino, 2003. "Demand for pharmaceutical drugs: A choice modelling experiment," Economics Working Papers 704, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    31. Steven Shavell, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-562.
    32. Gre[ss], Stefan & Groenewegen, Peter & Kerssens, Jan & Braun, Bernard & Wasem, Juergen, 2002. "Free choice of sickness funds in regulated competition: evidence from Germany and The Netherlands," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 235-254, June.
    33. Strombom, Bruce A. & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 2002. "Switching costs, price sensitivity and health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 89-116, January.
    34. Spence, Michael, 1978. "Product differentiation and performance in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-447, December.
    35. Chernew, Michael E. & Encinosa, William E. & Hirth, Richard A., 2000. "Optimal health insurance: the case of observable, severe illness," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 585-609, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0513. 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: (Marita Kieser)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.