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The effect of private health insurance on self-assessed health status and health satisfaction in Germany

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  • Petilliot, René

Abstract

In Germany, private health insurance covers more innovative and costly treatments than public insurance. Moreover, privately insured individuals are treated preferentially by doctors. In this article, I use subjective health data to examine whether these superior features of private insurance actually transfer into better health. I focus on German adolescents who are still in education to control for selection and account for differences in health-conscious behavior between publicly and privately insured individuals. I find that privately and publicly insured individuals do not differ in health, which contrasts with previous research. Hence, doctors appear to be the sole profiteers of the private insurance system and billions of euros could be saved by aligning private and public health insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Petilliot, René, 2017. "The effect of private health insurance on self-assessed health status and health satisfaction in Germany," FZG Discussion Papers 65, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fzgdps:65
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patrick Hullegie & Tobias J. Klein, 2010. "The effect of private health insurance on medical care utilization and self‐assessed health in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(9), pages 1048-1062, September.
    2. Andreas Million & Regina T. Riphahn & Achim Wambach, 2003. "Incentive effects in the demand for health care: a bivariate panel count data estimation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 387-405.
    3. Geil, Peter, et al, 1997. "Economic Incentives and Hospitalization in Germany," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 295-311, May-June.
    4. Winfried Pohlmeier & Volker Ulrich, 1995. "An Econometric Model of the Two-Part Decisionmaking Process in the Demand for Health Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 339-361.
    5. Walendzik, Anke & Greß, Stefan & Manouguian, Maral & Wasem, Jürgen, 2008. "Vergütungsunterschiede im ärztlichen Bereich zwischen PKV und GKV auf Basis des standardisierten Leistungsniveaus der GKV und Modelle der Vergütungsangleichung," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 165, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Business and Economic Studie (IBES).
    6. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health satisfaction; Self-assessed health status; Private health insurance; Public health insurance; Selection;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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