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How Health Plan Enrollees Value Prices Relative to Supplemental Benefits and Service Quality

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  • Bünnings, Christian
  • Schmitz, Hendrik
  • Tauchmann, Harald
  • Ziebarth, Nicolas R.

Abstract

This paper empirically assesses the relative role of health plan prices, service quality and optional benefits in the decision to choose a health plan. We link representative German SOEP panel data from 2007 to 2010 to (i) health plan service quality indicators, (ii) measures of voluntary benefit provision on top of federally mandated benefits, and (iii) health plan prices for almost all German health plans. Mixed logit models incorporate a total of 1,700 health plan choices with more than 50 choice sets for each individual. The findings suggest that, compared to prices, health plan service quality and supplemental benefits play a minor role in making a health plan choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Bünnings, Christian & Schmitz, Hendrik & Tauchmann, Harald & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "How Health Plan Enrollees Value Prices Relative to Supplemental Benefits and Service Quality," Ruhr Economic Papers 545, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pilny, Adam & Wübker, Ansgar & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Introducing risk adjustment and free health plan choice in employer-based health insurance: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 330-351.
    2. Juan Pablo Atal & Hanming Fang & Martin Karlsson & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2017. "Exit, Voice or Loyalty? An Investigation into Mandated Portability of Front-Loaded Private Health Plans," NBER Working Papers 23468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kifmann, Mathias, 2017. "Competition policy for health care provision in Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 119-125.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    service quality; non-essential benefits; prices; health plan switching; German sickness funds; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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