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Title:Do optional deductibles reduce the number of doctor visits?: empirical evidence with German dat PDF Logo
Authors:Schmitz, Hendrik
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:Ruhr economic papers 76
Abstract:Deductibles in health insurance are often regarded as a means to contain health care costs when individuals exhibit moral hazard. However, in the absence of moral hazard, voluntarily chosen deductibles may instead lead to self-selection into different insurance contracts. We use a set of new variables in the German Socioeconomic Panel for the years 2002, 2004, and 2006 that measure individual health more accurately and include risk-attitudes towards health in order to determine the price elasticity of demand for health care. A latent class approach that takes into account the panel structure of the data reveals that the effect of deductibles on the number of doctor visits is negligible. Private add-on insurance increases the number of doctor visits. However, altogether the effects of the insurance state on the demand for doctor visits are small in magnitude.
Subjects:Health insurance
deductibles
add-on insurance
count data
latent class panel model
JEL:I11
I18
G22
ISBN:978-3-86788-081-7
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des RWI
Ruhr Economic Papers, RWI

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