Social Interactions and the Health Insurance Choices of the Elderly: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

33 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2003

See all articles by John R. Moran

John R. Moran

Penn State University

Jeffrey D. Kubik

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Eldar Beiseitov

Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 22, 2004

Abstract

Using data from the 1998 Wave of the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the effect of social interactions on the health insurance choices of the elderly. We find that having more social interactions, as measured by contacts with friends and neighbors, reduces the likelihood of enrolling in a Medicare managed care plan relative to purchasing a medigap policy or having coverage through Medicare alone. Our estimates indicate that social networks are an important determinant of the health insurance choices of the elderly and provide suggestive evidence that word-of-mouth information sharing may have played a role in the preference of some seniors for traditional indemnity insurance over managed care.

Keywords: Social interactions, Medicare managed care, Medicare HMOs, medigap

JEL Classification: D83, G22, H51, I10, I18

Suggested Citation

Moran, John R. and Kubik, Jeffrey D. and Beiseitov, Eldar, Social Interactions and the Health Insurance Choices of the Elderly: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study (June 22, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=465341 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.465341

John R. Moran (Contact Author)

Penn State University ( email )

116 Henderson Bldg.
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Jeffrey D. Kubik

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States
315-443-9063 (Phone)
315-443-1081 (Fax)

Eldar Beiseitov

Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

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