Health insurance: Medical treatment vs disability payment
Geir B. Asheim, Anne Wenche Emblem and Tore Nilssen
Research in Economics
We present arguments for treating health insurance and disability insurance in an integrated manner in economic analysis, based on a model where each individual’s utility depends on both consumption and health and her income depends on her earning ability. When purchasing insurance, she may choose a contract that offers less than full medical treatment. We find that high-ability individuals demand full recovery and equalize utility across states, while low-ability individuals demand partial treatment and cash compensation and suffer a loss in utility if ill. Our results carry over to the case where health states are not observable.