Self-selection and risk selection on the Swiss health insurance market


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Self-selection and risk selection on the Swiss health insurance market
Grandchamp C.
Geoffard P.-Y.
Holly A.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales
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REROID: R004108875
This thesis presents three empirical studies in the field of health insurance in Switzerland. First we investigate the link between health insurance coverage and health care expenditures. We use claims data for over 60 000 adult individuals covered by a major Swiss Health Insurance Fund, followed for four years; the data show a strong positive correlation between coverage and expenditures. Two methods are developed and estimated in order to separate selection effects (due to individual choice of coverage) and incentive effects ("ex post moral hazard"). The first method uses the comparison between inpatient and outpatient expenditures to identify both effects and we conclude that both selection and incentive effects are significantly present in our data. The second method is based on a structural model of joint demand of health care and health insurance and makes the most of the change in the marginal cost of health care to identify selection and incentive effects. We conclude that the correlation between insurance coverage and health care expenditures may be decomposed into the two effects: 75% may be attributed to selection, and 25 % to incentive effects. Moreover, we estimate that a decrease in the coinsurance rate from 100% to 10% increases the marginal demand for health care by about 90% and from 100% to 0% by about 150%.
Secondly, having shown that selection and incentive effects exist in the Swiss health insurance market, we present the consequence of this result in the context of risk adjustment. We show that if individuals choose their insurance coverage in function of their health status (selection effect), the optimal compensations should be function of the se- lection and incentive effects. Therefore, a risk adjustment mechanism which ignores these effects, as it is the case presently in Switzerland, will miss his main goal to eliminate incentives for sickness funds to select risks. Using a simplified model, we show that the optimal compensations have to take into account the distribution of risks through the insurance plans in case of self-selection in order to avoid incentives to select risks.Then, we apply our propositions to Swiss data and propose a simple econometric procedure to control for self-selection in the estimation of the risk adjustment formula in order to compute the optimal compensations.
Create date
13/07/2010 15:06
Last modification date
20/08/2019 16:11
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