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Journal Articles Health Economics Review Year : 2020

Healthcare consumption after a change in health insurance coverage: a French quasi-natural experiment

Abstract

Background: Compared to the number of studies performed in the United States, few studies have been conducted on the link between health insurance and healthcare consumption in Europe, likely because most European countries have compulsory national health insurance (NHI) or a national health service (NHS). Recently, a major French private insurer, offering voluntary complementary coverage in addition to the compulsory NHI, replaced its single standard package with a range of offers from basic coverage (BC) to extended coverage (EC), providing a quasi-natural experiment to test theoretical assumptions about consumption patterns. Methods: Reimbursement claim data from 85,541 insurees were analysed from 2009 to 2018. Insurees who opted for EC were matched to those still covered by BC with similar characteristics. Difference-indifferences (DiD) models were used to compare both the monetary value and physical quantities of healthcare consumption before and after the change in coverage. Results: As expected, the DiD models revealed a strong significant, though transitory (mainly during the first year), increase after the change in coverage for EC insurees, particularly for costly care such as dental prostheses and spectacles. Surprisingly, consumption seemed to precede the change in coverage, suggesting that one possible determinant of opting for more coverage may be previous unplanned expenses. Conclusion: Both catching-up behaviour and moral hazard are likely to play a role in the increase observed in healthcare consumption.
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hal-02879319 , version 1 (23-06-2020)

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Christine Sevilla-Dedieu, Nathalie Billaudeau, Alain Paraponaris. Healthcare consumption after a change in health insurance coverage: a French quasi-natural experiment. Health Economics Review, 2020, 10 (1), pp.17. ⟨10.1186/s13561-020-00275-y⟩. ⟨hal-02879319⟩
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