The Demand for Dental Care: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Health Insurance
Using data from a randomized trial in health insurance, this report examines the effect of cost sharing on use of dental services other than orthodontia. The data come from a nonaged, noninstitutionalized civilian population of four urban and two rural sites. The authors reach two major conclusions: (1) Reducing the level of cost sharing increases demand for dental services; dental expenses rise 46 percent when the coinsurance rate falls from 95 percent to 0 percent, subject to a catastrophic limit on out-of-pocket expenses. (2) Increased income affects dental visits differently than dental expenditures; lower-income individuals tend to have more expensive visits than high-income individuals.
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25-percent coinsurance 95-percent plan Adjusted Tobit Model adults AFDC American Dental Association Bailit C. E. Phelps C. N. Morris characteristics coinsurance rate correlation cost sharing Dayton Demand for Dental dental coverage dental expenditures dental expenses dental insurance dental services dental visits dentures differences distribution Duan EDLTHS effect of cost endodontic enrollee entry equation free plan Group Health Cooperative Health Insurance Experiment Health Insurance Study health services INCFREE INCIDP insurance coverage INTERCEPT J. P. Newhouse January 1984 dollars Journal LFAM likelihood limit on out-of-pocket LNINC LOG ANNUAL EXPENDITURES mental health MISINC negative binomial distribution NOHR number of visits omitted group oral health status ORDINARY LEAST SQUARES orthodontia out-of-pocket expenses participants percent more visits PROBIT PROBIT REGRESSION prosthodontia Rand Corporation REGRESSION FOR LOG response to cost retransformation sample smearing estimate SMEARING FACTOR SOMCOL STANDARD POPULATION statistically Table TERM3 TOOKPHYS transitory surge two-part model upper limit VARIABLE COEFFICIENT SD(COEFF