Intergenerational Transfers and Insurance Policy Design

North American Actuarial Journal
Volume 12, Issue 3, 2008
David Bernstein PhD

Abstract

Group health insurance policies offering an identical benefit package to every member of the group result in lower expected health benefits for younger cohorts than older cohorts. The dispersion in insurance benefits across age groups differs among insurance policies. Simulation results presented in this paper demonstrate that a shift from comprehensive health insurance to high-deductible health insurance decreases the share of expected benefits going to younger cohorts. An estimated 81.5% of the 23-to-32-year-old cohort is expected to receive less than $500 in health benefits during a year for one prototypical high-deductible health plan. Low expected benefits for younger relatively healthy cohorts could increase the number of younger individuals who eschew health coverage. Age-rated premiums are probably the most straightforward way to stimulate demand for high-deductible health plans among younger healthier individuals.

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