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Can we design a market for competitive health insurance? CHERE Discussion Paper No 53

By Jane Hall

Abstract

The topic of this paper is whether it is possible, given the current state of knowledge and technology, to design the appropriate market structure for managed competition. The next section reviews market failure in the private health insurance market. The subsequent two sections describe the principles of managed competition and its development and application in other countries. Then, the paper outlines recent developments in private health insurance policy in Australia, and proposals to apply managed competition in this country. The required design of the managed competition market place is described, and four major issues, risk adjustment, budget holding, consumer behaviour, and insurer behaviour, are identified. The final sections of the paper review the evidence on these four issues to determine if managed competition can be implemented, given current knowledge.Health Insurance, Managed competition, Australia

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