WWS Calendar

Long-Term Health Insurance: Theory Meets Evidence

Feb 20, 2019 12:15PM to 01:30PM
Location: 
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building
399

Tags: 

Audience: 
Restricted to WWS students, faculty, and fellows
Speaker(s): 
Hanming Fang, Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University/Class of 1965 Term Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

https://chw.princeton.edu/people/hanming-fang

"Long-Term Health Insurance: Theory Meets Evidence" (co-authored with Juan Pablo Atal, Martin Karlsson and Nicolas R. Ziebarth) 

ABSTRACT: To insure policyholders against contemporaneous health expenditure shocks and future reclassification risk, long-term health insurance constitutes an alternative to community rated short-term contracts with an individual mandate. Relying on unique claims panel data from a big private insurer in Germany, we study a real-world long-term health insurance application with a life-cycle perspective. We show that German long-term health insurance(GLTHI) provides large welfare gains compared to a series of risk-rated short-term contracts. Although, by design, the GLTHI contract differs substantially from the optimal dynamic contract, we only find modest welfare differences between the two. Moreover, we show that a simple modification to the GLTHI contract would further close this welfare gap. Finally, we conduct counterfactual policy experiments to illustrate the welfare consequences of integrating GLTHI into a system with a “Medicare-like” public insurance that covers  people above 65.