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Fine Tuning of Health Insurance Regulation: Unhealthy Consequences for an Individual Insurer


Schoder, Johannes; Sennhauser, Michèle; Zweifel, Peter (2009). Fine Tuning of Health Insurance Regulation: Unhealthy Consequences for an Individual Insurer. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 916, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper sheds light on some unexpected consequences of health insurance regulation that may pose a big challenge to insurers’ risk management. Because mandated uniform contributions to health insurance trigger risk selection efforts risk adjustment (RA) schemes become necessary. A good deal of research into the optimal RA formula has been performed (Ellis and Van de Ven [2000]). A recent proposal has been to add ”Hospitalization exceeding three days during the previous year” as an indicator of high risk (Beck et al. [2006]). Applying the new formula to an individual Swiss health insurer, its payments into the RA scheme are postdicted to explode, reaching up to 13 percent of premium income. Its mistake had been to successfully implement Managed Care, resulting in low rates of hospitalization. The predicted risk management response is to extend hospital stays beyond three days, contrary to stated policy objectives also of the United States.

This paper sheds light on some unexpected consequences of health insurance regulation that may pose a big challenge to insurers’ risk management. Because mandated uniform contributions to health insurance trigger risk selection efforts risk adjustment (RA) schemes become necessary. A good deal of research into the optimal RA formula has been performed (Ellis and Van de Ven [2000]). A recent proposal has been to add ”Hospitalization exceeding three days during the previous year” as an indicator of high risk (Beck et al. [2006]). Applying the new formula to an individual Swiss health insurer, its payments into the RA scheme are postdicted to explode, reaching up to 13 percent of premium income. Its mistake had been to successfully implement Managed Care, resulting in low rates of hospitalization. The predicted risk management response is to extend hospital stays beyond three days, contrary to stated policy objectives also of the United States.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:I18, L51, H51
Language:English
Date:September 2009
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:10
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51925

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