Effects of primary care cost-sharing among young adults: varying impact across income groups and gender
Naimi Johansson (),
Niklas Jakobsson () and
Mikael Svensson ()
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Naimi Johansson: Health Metrics, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg
The European Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 20, issue 8, No 12, 1280 pages
Abstract We estimate the price sensitivity in health care among adolescents and young adults, and assess how it varies across income groups and gender, using a regression discontinuity design. We use the age differential cost-sharing in Swedish primary care as our identification strategy. At the 20th birthday, the copayment increases from €0 to approx. €10 per primary care physician visit and close to this threshold the copayment faced by each person is distributed almost as good as if randomized. The analysis is performed using high-quality health care and economic register data of 73,000 individuals aged 18–22. Our results show that the copayment decreases the average number of visits by 7%. Among women visits are reduced by 9%, for low-income individuals by 11%, and for low-income women by 14%. In conclusion, modest copayments have significant utilization effects, and even in a policy context with relatively low income inequalities, the effect is substantially larger in low-income groups and among women.
Keywords: Patient cost-sharing; Health care demand; Price sensitivity; Income inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 H51 I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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