There is limited empirical evidence about the impact of for-profit health insurers on various outcomes. I study the effects of conversions to for-profit status by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliates in 11 states, spanning 28 geographic markets. I find both the BCBS affiliate and its rivals increased premiums following conversions in markets where the converting affiliate had substantial market share. Medicaid enrollment rates also increased in these markets, a pattern consistent with "crowd in" of families who were formerly privately insured. The results suggest for-profit insurers are likelier than not-for-profit insurers to exercise market power when they possess it.
"Does It Matter if Your Health Insurer Is For Profit? Effects of Ownership on Premiums, Insurance Coverage, and Medical Spending."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
Health Insurance, Public and Private
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs