Competition between non-profit and for-profit health insurers.

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This study investigates the effects of tax, regulatory, and reimbursement policies and other factors exogenous to the health insurance market on the relative price (to commercial insurers) paid by Blue Cross plans for hospital care, their administrative expense and accounting profits, premiums, and ultimately Blue Cross market share. We specify and estimate a simultaneous equation model to assess interrelationships among these variables. We conclude that premium tax advantages enjoyed by the Blues have virtually no effect on the Blues' premiums or their market shares. A Blue Cross plans' market share has a positive effect on the discount it obtains from hospitals as does coverage of Blue Shield charges by a state-mandated rate-setting plan. An upper bound on the effect on the Blue Cross market share of covering Blue Cross under rate-setting but excluding the commercials from such coverage is seven percentage points. Tests for administrative slack in the operation of Blue Cross plans yield mixed results.







Frank A. Sloan

J. Alexander McMahon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management

Professor Sloan is interested in studying the subjects of health policy and the economics of aging, hospitals, health, pharmaceuticals, and substance abuse. He has received funding from numerous research grants that he earned for studies of which he was the principal investigator. His most recent grants were awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Disease Control, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Institute on Aging. Titles of his projects include, “Why Mature Smokers Do Not Quit,” “Legal and Economic Vulnerabilities of the Master Settlement Agreement,” “Determinants and Cost of Alcohol Abuse Among the Elderly and Near-elderly,” and “Reinsurance Markets and Public Policy.” He received the Investigator Award for his work on the project, “Reoccurring Crises in Medical Malpractice.” Some of his earlier works include the studies entitled, “Policies to Attract Nurses to Underserved Areas,” “The Impact of National Economic Conditions on the Health Care of the Poor-Access,” and “Analysis of Physician Price and Output Decisions.” Professor Sloan’s latest research continues to investigate the trends and repercussions of medical malpractice, physician behavior, and hospital behavior.

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