Copayments in the German Health System - Do They Work?

16 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2006

See all articles by Boris Augurzky

Boris Augurzky

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sandra Schaffner

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of copayments on doctor visits using the German health care reform of 2004 as a natural experiment. In January 2004, copayments of 10 euros for the first doctor visit in each quarter have been introduced for all adults in the statutory health insurance. Individuals covered by private health insurance as well as youths have been exempted from these copayments. We use them as control groups in a difference-in-differences approach to identify the causal impact of these copayments on doctor visits. In contrast to expectations and public opinion our results indicate that there are no statistically significant effects of the copayments on the decision of visiting a doctor.

Keywords: Copayment, doctor visits, difference-in-differences, fixed-effect

JEL Classification: I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Augurzky, Boris and Bauer, Thomas K. and Schaffner, Sandra, Copayments in the German Health System - Do They Work? (August 2006). RWI Discussion Paper No. 43, iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928914 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.928914

Boris Augurzky (Contact Author)

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

45128 Essen
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany
+49 201 8149 264 (Phone)
+49 201 8149 284 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi-essen.de

University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Universitätsstraße 150
Gebäude GC, Ebene 3, Raum 58
D-44780 Bochum
Germany
+02 34 32 28341 (Phone)
+02 34 32 14273 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/empwifo/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
+49 228 38 94 529 (Phone)
+49 228 38 94 510 (Fax)

Sandra Schaffner

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi-essen.de/schaffner

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