Changes in the demand for private medical insurance following a shift in tax incentives
The 1998 Spanish reform of the Personal Income Tax eliminated the 15% deduction for private medical expenditures including payments on private health insurance (PHI) policies. To avoid an undesirable increase in the demand for publicly funded health care, tax incentives to buy PHI were not completely removed but basically shifted from individual to group employer-paid policies. In a unique fiscal experiment, at the same time that the tax relief for individually purchased policies was abolished, the government provided for tax allowances on policies taken out through employment. Using a bivariate probit model on data from National Health Surveys, we estimate the impact of said reform on the demand for PHI and the changes occurred within it. Our findings suggest that the total probability of buying PHI was not significantly affected. Indeed, the fall in the demand for individual policies (by 10% between 1997 and 2001) was offset by an increase in the demand for group employer-paid ones, so that the overall size of the market remained virtually unchanged. We also briefly discuss the welfare effects on the state budget, the industry and society at large.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2006|
|Date of revision:||Dec 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Fundació Bosch i Gimpera, C. Baldiri i Reixac, 4-8, 08028 Barcelona|
Web page: http://www.xreap.cat
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Hoel, Michael & Saether, Erik Magnus, 2003.
"Public health care with waiting time: the role of supplementary private health care,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 599-616, July.
- Michael Hoel & Erik Magnus Sæther, 2001. "Public Health Care with Waiting Time: The Role of Supplementary Private Health Care," CESifo Working Paper Series 562, CESifo Group Munich.
- Gertler, Paul & Sturm, Roland, 1997. "Private health insurance and public expenditures in Jamaica," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 237-257, March.
- Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
- Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Soderqvist, Tore, 1998. "Time spent on waiting lists for medical care: an insurance approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 627-644, October.
- Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Söderqvist, Tore, 1997. "Time Spent on Waiting Lists for Medical Care: An Insurance Approach," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 192, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2000. "Public health care and private insurance demand: The waiting time as a link," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 51-71, January.
- Danzon, Patricia M., 2002. "Welfare effects of supplementary insurance: a comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 923-926, September.
- Beenstock, Michael & Rahav, Giora, 2002. "Testing Gateway Theory: do cigarette prices affect illicit drug use?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 679-698, July.
- Joan Costa & Jaume Garcia, 2003. "Demand for private health insurance: how important is the quality gap?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 587-599.
- H.E. Frech Iii & Sandra Hopkins & Garry Macdonald, 2003. "The Australian Private Health Insurance Boom: Was It Subsidies Or Liberalised Regulation?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(1), pages 58-64, 03.
- Besley, Timothy & Hall, John & Preston, Ian, 1999. "The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 155-181, May.
- Tim Besley & John Hall & Ian Preston, 1996. "The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists matter?," IFS Working Papers W96/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.