Uterus at a price: Disability insurance and hysterectomy
Ma, Ching-To Albert
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Citation (published version)Elliott Fan, Hsienming Lien, Ching-To Albert Ma. 2019. "Uterus at a price: Disability insurance and hysterectomy." Journal of Health Economics, Volume 66, pp. 1 - 17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.04.001
Taiwanese Labor, Government Employee, and Farmer Insurance programs provide 5 to 6 months of salary to enrollees who undergo hysterectomies or oophorectomies before their 45th birthday. These programs create incentives for more and earlier treatments, referred to as inducement and timing effects. Using National Health Insurance data between 1997 and 2011, we estimate these effects on surgery hazards by difference-in-difference and bunching-smoothing polynomial methods. For Government Employee and Labor Insurance, inducement is 11-12% of all hysterectomies, and timing 20% of inducement. For oophorectomies, both effects are insignificant. Enrollees' behaviors are consistent with rational choices. Each surgery qualifies an enrollee for the same benefit, but oophorectomy has more adverse health consequences than hysterectomy. Induced hysterectomies increase benefit payments and surgical costs, at about the cost of a mammogram and 5 pap smears per enrollee.