Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France

35 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2002 Last revised: 8 Oct 2002

See all articles by Thomas C. Buchmueller

Thomas C. Buchmueller

University of California - Paul Merage School of Business - Economics/Health Care; University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Agnes Couffinhal

World Health Organisation EURO ; IRDES (formerly CREDES)

Michel Grignon

McMaster University - Department of Economics

Marc Perronin

Research and Information Institute for Health Economics (IRDES)

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Buchmueller, Thomas C. and Couffinhal, Agnes and Grignon, Michel and Perronin, Marc, Access to Physician Services: Does Supplemental Insurance Matter? Evidence from France (September 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9238. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=334330

Thomas C. Buchmueller (Contact Author)

University of California - Paul Merage School of Business - Economics/Health Care ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-3125
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.gsm.uci.edu/~tbuchmu/

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Agnes Couffinhal

World Health Organisation EURO

IRDES (formerly CREDES)

Michel Grignon

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

Marc Perronin

Research and Information Institute for Health Economics (IRDES) ( email )

10 rue Vauvenargues
75018 Paris
France

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