In 1992, the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced new insurance coverage for two preventive services - influenza vaccinations and mammograms. Economists typically assume transactions occur with perfect information and foresight. As a test of the value of information, we estimate the effect of consumer knowledge of these benefits on their demand. Treating knowledge as endogenous in a two-part model of demand, we find that consumer knowledge has a substantial positive effect on the use of preventive services. Our findings suggest that strategies to educate the insured Medicare population about coverage of preventive services may have substantial social value.
- Health insurance