Cover: Policy Options and the Impact of National Health Insurance

Policy Options and the Impact of National Health Insurance

Published 1974

by Joseph P. Newhouse, Charles E. Phelps, William B. Schwartz


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback71 pages $15.00

Estimates the effects of various prototypical health insurance options on demand for medical services. The data indicate that under full coverage or 25 percent maximum coinsurance, demand for hospital services would rise modestly. However, either program would greatly increase demand for ambulatory services and would stress the delivery system, with resulting increased price of physicians' services, queueing, or less physician time per patient — all without increasing total delivery of ambulatory services. Ambulatory services would be redistributed from the affluent to the poor. A catastrophic health insurance program would not stress the ambulatory system. Reorganization of the delivery of ambulatory services into prepaid groups would probably not increase productivity, nor would emphasis on preventive medicine reduce overall demand for health services. National insurance providing more health services would not appreciably affect objective indexes of health (life expectancy), but should improve subjective but unquantifiable elements such as quality of life.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.