NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Open Enrollment Periods and Plan Choices

Francesco Decarolis, Andrea Guglielmo, Calvin Luscombe

NBER Working Paper No. 24156
Issued in December 2017, Revised in August 2019
NBER Program(s):The Health Care Program, The Health Economics Program, The Public Economics Program

Open enrollment periods are pervasively used in insurance markets to limit adverse selection risks resulting when enrollees can switch plans at will. We exploit a change in the open enrollment rules of Medicare Advatage to analyze how beneficiaries responded to the option of switching to a 5-star rated plan at anytime, in a setting where insurers adjusted premiums and benefit design to counterbalance the increased selection risk. We present three findings: within-year switches to 5-star plans increase by 7-16%; demand for 5-star plans across the years does not change; the enrollees who switch to a 5-star plan during the year are in better health status than those who do not switch.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24156

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