Économie et Statistique n° 474 - 2014Long run per capita GDP - Nursing care insurance - Retirement span and life expectancy - Measures of spatial concentration
To what extent do individual preferences restrict the development of nursing care insurance?
Against the backdrop of population ageing, various scenarios are being envisioned in order to reform the organisation and financing of nursing care for elderly dependents. The role of private insurance plans in the financing of care has been widely debated in this respect. Despite substantial excesses for the patient, few individuals currently have insurance cover. This article aims to add to the existing literature by evaluating the extent to which the preferences observed in the population limit this insurance cover. To do so we use the 2011 Wealth and time and risk preferences (Pater) survey. At the request of the Médéric Alzheimer Foundation, the 2011 Pater survey included a supplementary questionnaire on the perception of dependency risk and insurance behaviours (Pated questionnaire). The Pater survey allows the construction of scores quantifying four preference dimensions likely to influence risk perception and the probability, for individuals that perceive this risk, of taking out insurance: preference for the present, risk aversion, family altruism, and the presumed preference for informal assistance. The results of the estimations show the significant role of each of these dimensions in demand for insurance. Nevertheless, even within a population demonstrating the strongest preference for insurance, the simulations show that the percentage of users does not exceed 20%. Increased recourse to private plans by generalising private cover is therefore difficult to imagine, unless the insurance offering were to develop sharply or the government introduced regulations encouraging or constraining insurance subscription.