An Economic Assessment of Health Care Coverage for the Elderly

December 1987 | Thomas Rice

The current array of public and private health care coverages for the elderly is so complex and confusing that consumers are unable to make effective choices. The recent “medigap market” still further confounds the operation of “economic efficiency” in competitive insurance markets; consumers are uninformed about the extent and value of their basic coverage and even more so about the vulnerabilities against which supplementary insurance is purchased. This structural impediment to effectiveness and efficiency is most critical for long-term nursing care. Future changes in public programs must recognize that comprehensive benefits must also be made comprehensible.

Author(s): Thomas Rice

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Volume 65, Issue 4 (pages 488–520)
Published in 1987