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Private supplemental insurance and mental health care utilization in Canada: An investigation using nonparametric estimation methods

TitlePrivate supplemental insurance and mental health care utilization in Canada: An investigation using nonparametric estimation methods
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsClair, L.
Abstract

The heterogeneous nature of mental illness leads to individual treatment plans that may consist of community-based non-physician mental health services (e.g. psychologists and social workers) and prescription medications. While Canada's universal system of public health insurance fully covers the cost of medically necessary hospital and physician services, the public plan generally does not cover the use of prescription drugs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of supplementary insurance plans in the utilization of prescription drugs for mental illness and mental health service providers. I employ nonparametric conditional probability density function estimation methods and nonparametric regression estimation methods. I find that supplemental insurance affects the utilization of medication. Furthermore, I find that conditional on having used a mental health pharmaceutical, those with insurance are more likely to use a higher number medications than those without insurance. My results show that lack of private supplemental insurance may act as a barrier for some individuals to access important mental health goods and services.

URLhttps://www.mun.ca/care/research/papers/Health.php
Document URLhttps://www.mun.ca/care/research/papers/Luc_Clair_MUN_Postdoc.pdf