NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Christopher Ody

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Working Papers

May 2014More Insurers Lower Premiums: Evidence from Initial Pricing in the Health Insurance Marketplaces
with Leemore Dafny, Jonathan Gruber: w20140
First-year insurer participation in the Health Insurance Marketplaces (HIMs) established by the Affordable Care Act is limited in many areas of the country. There are 3.9 participants, on (population-weighted) average, in the 395 ratings areas spanning the 34 states with federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs). Using data on the plans offered in the FFMs, together with predicted market shares for exchange participants (estimated using 2011 insurer-state market shares in the individual insurance market), we study the impact of competition on premiums. We exploit variation in ratings-area-level competition induced by United Healthcare’s decision not to participate in any of the FFMs. We estimate that the second-lowest-price silver premium (which is directly linked to federal subsidies)...
February 2013How do Hospitals Respond to Negative Financial Shocks? The Impact of the 2008 Stock Market Crash
with David Dranove, Craig Garthwaite: w18853
The theory of cost-shifting posits that nonprofit hospitals respond to negative financial shocks by raising prices for privately insured patients. We examine how hospitals responded to the sharp reductions in their endowments caused by the 2008 stock market collapse. We find that the average hospital did not engage in cost-shifting, but average hospitals that likely have substantial market power did cost-shift. Investigating further how hospitals responded to the financial setback, we found no evidence of reductions in treatment costs. However, hospitals with large endowment losses delayed purchases of health information technology and curtailed the offering of unprofitable services.

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