The Effect of Patient Cost Sharing on Utilization, Health, and Risk Protection

75 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013

See all articles by Hitoshi Shigeoka

Hitoshi Shigeoka

Simon Fraser University (SFU); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

This paper exploits a sharp reduction in patient cost sharing at age 70 in Japan, using a regression discontinuity design to examine its effect on utilization, health, and financial risk arising from out-of-pocket expenditures. Due to the national policy, cost sharing is 60-80 percent lower at age 70 than at age 69. I find that both outpatient and inpatient care are price sensitive among the elderly. While I find little impact on mortality and other health outcomes, the results show that reduced cost sharing is associated with lower out-of-pocket expenditures, especially at the right tail of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

Shigeoka, Hitoshi, The Effect of Patient Cost Sharing on Utilization, Health, and Risk Protection (December 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19726, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367555

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Simon Fraser University (SFU) ( email )

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