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Age and Choice in Health Insurance: Evidence from Switzerland


Becker, Karolin; Zweifel, Peter (2007). Age and Choice in Health Insurance: Evidence from Switzerland. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 410, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Elements of regulation inherent in most social health insurance systems are a uniform package of benefits and uniform cost sharing. Both elements risk to burden the population with a welfare loss if preferences differ. This suggests introducing more contracted choice; however, it is widely believed that this would not benefit the aged. This study examines the relationship between age and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for additional options in Swiss social health insurance. Through discrete choice experiments (DCE), a marked diversity of preferences can be established. The findings suggest that while the aged do exhibit more status quo bias, they require less rather than more specific compensation for selected cutbacks considered, pointing to potential for contracts that induce self-rationing in return for lower premiums.

Elements of regulation inherent in most social health insurance systems are a uniform package of benefits and uniform cost sharing. Both elements risk to burden the population with a welfare loss if preferences differ. This suggests introducing more contracted choice; however, it is widely believed that this would not benefit the aged. This study examines the relationship between age and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for additional options in Swiss social health insurance. Through discrete choice experiments (DCE), a marked diversity of preferences can be established. The findings suggest that while the aged do exhibit more status quo bias, they require less rather than more specific compensation for selected cutbacks considered, pointing to potential for contracts that induce self-rationing in return for lower premiums.

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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:C35, C93, D61, I11, I18
Language:English
Date:June 2007
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52354

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