Do people shift their use of health services over time to take advantage of insurance?
This paper provides a test of the hypothesis that people shift their consumption of health services to time periods when they have more generous insurance coverage, in order to take advantage of third-party payment. Data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation are used to compare utilization rates for people in transition between being insured and being uninsured to those of people who are continuously insured and continuously uninsured. Little support was found for the hypothesis that people anticipate changes in their insurance status and arrange their health care consumption accordingly.
Originally published in: Journal of Health Economics, v. 17, no. 1, pp. 105-115.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
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 www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation 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.