To investigate factors affecting willingness to pay () for health insurance of older adults in a longitudinal setting in Germany.
Survey data from a cohort study in Saarland, Germany, from 2008–2010 and 2011–2014 ( = 3,124; = 2,761) were used.
Panel data were taken at two points from an observational, prospective cohort study.
estimates were derived using a contingent valuation method with a payment card. Participants provided data on sociodemographics, lifestyle factors, morbidity, and health care utilization.
Fixed effects regression models showed higher individual health care costs to increase , which in particular could be found for members of private health insurance. Changes in income and morbidity did not affect among members of social health insurance, whereas these predictors affected among members of private health insurance.
The fact that individual health care costs affected positively might indicate that demanding (expensive) health care services raises the awareness of the benefits of health insurance. Thus, measures to increase in old age should target at improving transparency of the value of health insurances at the moment when individual health care utilization and corresponding costs are still relatively low.