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The Impact of Private Hospital Insurance on the Utilization of Hospital Care In Australia

Author

Listed:
  • Damien S.Eldridge

    () (School Economics, La Trobe University)

  • Ilke Onur

    () (University of South Australia)

  • Malathi Velamuri

    () (Independent Researcher)

  • Cagatay Koc

    () (Senior Economist, Cornerstone Research, USA)

Abstract

We use the 2004-'05 wave of the Australian National Health Survey to estimate the impact of private hospital insurance on the propensity for hospitalization as a private patient. We employ instrumental-variable methods to account for the endogeneity of supplementary private hospital insurance purchases. We calculate moral hazard based on a difference-of-means estimator. We decompose the moral hazard estimate into a diversion component that is due to an insurance-induced substitution away from public patient care towards private patient care, and an expansion component that measures a pure insurance-induced increase in the propensity to seek private patient care. We find some evidence of self-selection into insurance but this finding is not robust to alternative specifications. Our results suggest that on average, private hospital insurance causes a sizable and significant increase in the likelihood of hospital admission as a private patient. However, there is little evidence of moral hazard; the treatment effect of private hospital insurance on private patient care is driven almost entirely by the substitution away from public patient care towards private patient care.

Suggested Citation

  • Damien S.Eldridge & Ilke Onur & Malathi Velamuri & Cagatay Koc, 2013. "The Impact of Private Hospital Insurance on the Utilization of Hospital Care In Australia," Working Papers 2013.03, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2013.03
    Note: ISSN-1837-2198
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Terence Chai Cheng, 2011. "Measuring the Effects of Removing Subsidies for Private Insurance on Public Expenditure for Health Care," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n26, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yan Meng & Xueyan Zhao & Xibin Zhang & Jiti Gao, 2017. "A panel data analysis of hospital variations in length of stay for hip replacements: Private versus public," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 20/17, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    2. repec:rnp:ecopol:ep1826 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Insurance; Health Care Consumption; Moral Hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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