NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France

Thomas C. Buchmueller, Agnès Couffinhal, Michel Grignon, Marc Perronin

NBER Working Paper No. 9238
Issued in September 2002
NBER Program(s):   HE

In France, public health insurance is universal but incomplete, with private payments accounting for roughly 25 percent of all spending. As a result, most people have supplemental private health insurance. We investigate the effects of such insurance on the utilization of physician services using data from the 1998 Enquˆte Sant‚ Protection Sociale, a nationally representative survey of the French population. Our results indicate that insurance has a strong and significant effect on the utilization of physician services. Individuals with supplemental coverage have substantially more physician visits than those without. In a context where patients are free to choose their provider, we find no evidence that adults with supplemental insurance are more likely to visit a specialist than a general practitioner.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9238

Published: Thomas C. Buchmueller & Agnès Couffinhal & Michel Grignon & Marc Perronnin, 2004. "Access to physician services: does supplemental insurance matter? Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 669-687.

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