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The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists or waiting times matter? CHERE Working Paper 2010/8

Meliyanni Johar, Glenn Jones (), Michael Keane (), Elizabeth Savage () and Olena Stavrunova ()

Working Papers from CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney

Abstract: Besley, Hall, and Preston (1999) estimated a model of the demand for private health insurance in Britain as a function of regional waiting lists and found that increases in the number of people waiting for more than 12 months (the long-term waiting list) increased the probability of insurance purchase. In the absence of waiting time data, the length of regional long-term waiting lists was used to capture the price-quality trade-off of public treatment. We revisit Besley et al.?s analysis using Australian data and test the use of waiting lists as a proxy for waiting time in models of insurance demand. Unlike Besley et al., we find that the long-term waiting list is not a significant determinant of the demand for insurance. However we find that long waiting times do significantly increase insurance. This suggests that the relationship between waiting times and waiting lists is not as straightforward as is commonly assumed.

Keywords: waiting time; waiting lists; health insurance; regional aggregation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 I11 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ias
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