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Volume 60, Issue 1


Doctor-Visit Co-Payment Exemption for Children: First Look at the Data

Zápal, Jan

Year: 2010   Volume: 60   Issue: 1   Pages: 58-72

Abstract: This paper uses the abolition of children’s doctor-visit co-payments effective since April 2009 as a natural experiment to estimate the effect of those co-payments on the number of doctor visits made by children. As the policy change involved only children, we are able to use the adult part of the population as a control group in a difference-in-difference estimation. The paper approximates the number of doctor visits by consumption of prescription drugs, as visiting a doctor is the only way to obtain a prescription. Using three different pre-reform periods (January, February, and March 2009) and two post-reform periods (April and May 2009) the estimates reveal no overall effect of doctor-visit co-payments on the number of children’s doctor visits. Less convincingly and more tentatively, the estimates suggest a strategic shift of children’s doctor visits away from the last pre-reform toward the first post-reform month.

JEL classification: H31, H51, I18

Keywords: doctor visit co-payments, children, difference-in-difference


RePEc: http://ideas.repec.org/a/fau/fauart/v60y2010i1p58-72.html

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