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Does health insurance coverage fall when nonprofit insurers become for-profits?

Ethan M.J. Lieber

Journal of Health Economics, 2018, vol. 57, issue C, 75-88

Abstract: In exchange for tax exemptions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurers were expected to provide health insurance to the “bad risks,” those for whom coverage was unavailable from other insurers. I present evidence that five years after a BCBS plan converted to for-profit status, the probability of having insurance was 1.4 percentage points higher, a 9% reduction in the uninsured. The increase in coverage does not mask reductions among populations often targeted by public policies. However, there is evidence of increased risk selection which suggests that the bad risks might have been worse off after a conversion.

Keywords: Nonprofit; Health insurance; Conversion; Risk selection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L33 H25 I13 I18 L50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:75-88