Movement Across Health Plans

Why do people change health plans? Of course, the most obvious reasons are moving, changing jobs, or qualifying for Medicare. However, some people change health plans even when they remain in the same job. Why is this? A working paper by Cutler, Lincoln and Zeckhauser (2009) give the following explanations: Adverse selection, the movement of…

Best Practice Insurance

Problems: Malpractice Insurance is expensive. Medical errors are associated with 98,000 deaths every year [more than twice the deaths from car accidents by some estimates.] About two-thirds of the guidelines developed by AHPR between 1990 and 1996 were out of date with current research by 2001. Solutions: One solution is to enact damage caps.  These…

Non linearities and the Black Swan

The book Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an interesting book about probability outside of the traditional Gaussian framework and how paradigm changing often arise.  The highlight of the book is its philosophy of the black swan, and its unknown unknown.  The book also includes discussion of behavioral economics and tries to discredit Gaussian…

Marriage makes you fat

Researches at UNC found that marriage may make you happy and healthy but fat as well.  If you’ve been a loyal reader of the Healthcare Economist, however, you knew that already. Jason Shafrin’s research on marriage and weight gain already showed that marriage leads to increased weight gain.  In fact, the research demonstrated that one…