NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Price and the Health Plan Choices of Retirees

Thomas C. Buchmueller

NBER Working Paper No. 11395
Issued in June 2005
NBER Program(s):   HC

This study analyzes health plan choices of retirees in an employer-sponsored health benefits program that resembles "premium support" models proposed for Medicare. In this program, out-of-pocket premiums depend on when an individual retired and his or her years of service as of that date. Since this price variation is exogenous to unobserved plan attributes and retiree characteristics, it possible to obtain unbiased premium elasticity estimates. The results indicate a significantly negative effect of premiums. The implied elasticities are at the low end of the range found in previous studies on active employees.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11395

Published: Buchmueller, Thomas. "Price And The Health Plan Choices Of Retirees," Journal of Health Economics, 2006, v25(1,Jan), 81-101. citation courtesy of

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