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Does full insurance increase the demand for health care?

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  • Stefan Boes
  • Michael Gerfin

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of having full health insurance on health care expenditures. We take advantage of a unique quasi-experimental setup in which deductibles and co- payments were zero in a managed care plan, and non-zero in regular insurance, until a policy change forced all individuals with an active plan to cover a minimum amount of their expenses. Using panel data and a non-linear difference-in-differences strategy, we find a demand elasticity of about -0.14 comparing full insurance with the cost-sharing model, and a significant upward shift in the likelihood to generate costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Boes & Michael Gerfin, 2013. "Does full insurance increase the demand for health care?," Diskussionsschriften dp1305, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1305
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Gerfin & Boris Kaiser & Christian Schmid, 2015. "Healthcare Demand in the Presence of Discrete Price Changes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(9), pages 1164-1177, September.
    2. Herr, A. & Suppliet, M., 2011. "Co-Payment Exemptions and Reference Prices: an Empirical Study of Pharmaceutical Prices in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Stefanie Thönnes, 2019. "Ex-post moral hazard in the health insurance market: empirical evidence from German data," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(9), pages 1317-1333, December.
    4. Kaufmann, Cornel & Müller, Tobias & Hefti, Andreas & Boes, Stefan, 2018. "Does personalized information improve health plan choices when individuals are distracted?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 197-214.
    5. Kaufmann, Cornel & Schmid, Christian & Boes, Stefan, 2017. "Health insurance subsidies and deductible choice: Evidence from regional variation in subsidy schemes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 262-273.
    6. Suppliet, Moritz & Herr, Annika, 2016. "Cost-Sharing and Drug Pricing Strategies : Introducing Tiered Co-Payments in Reference Price Markets," Discussion Paper 2016-021, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    7. Dalton, Christina M., 2014. "Estimating demand elasticities using nonlinear pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-191.
    8. Tamara Bischof & Michael Gerfin & Tobias Mueller, 2021. "Attention Please! Health Plan Choice and (In-)Attention," Diskussionsschriften dp2111, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deductibles; health cost; quasi experiment; changes-in-changes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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