Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France
Thomas C. Buchmueller, Agnes Couffinhal, Michel Grignon, Marc Perronin
NBER Working Paper No. 9238
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.
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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