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On Discrimination in Health Insurance

Thomas Boyer-Kassem, Sébastien Duchêne and Bart Engelen
Additional contact information
Thomas Boyer-Kassem: Tilburg University
Bart Engelen: Tilburg University

No 2017-23, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France

Abstract: In many countries, private health insurance companies are allowed to vary their premiums, or to reject applicants, based on some information on individuals. This practice is intuitively justified by the idea that people should pay the premium corresponding to their own known risk. However, one may consider this as a form of discrimination or wrongful differential treatment. Our goal in this paper is to assess whether profiling is ethically permissible in health insurance. We go beyond the existing literature in considering any possible parameter in profiling, be it genetic, non-genetic, or even non-medical (such as age or place of living). Analyzing several ethical concerns, and tackling the difficult question of responsibility, we argue that profiling is unjust in health insurance on any parameter.

Keywords: Discrimination; Health Economics; Insurance; Profiling; Ethics; Social Choice; Welfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I13 I14 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2017-06, Revised 2017-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ias
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http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2017-23.pdf Revised version, 2017-12 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: On discrimination in health insurance (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gre:wpaper:2017-23

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