Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France
35 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2002 Last revised: 8 Oct 2002
Date Written: September 2002
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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