QUT ePrints

Incentivising private health insurance through the income tax regime : Capitalising on behavioural models

Johnston, Andrew & Sadiq, Kerrie (2011) Incentivising private health insurance through the income tax regime : Capitalising on behavioural models. Australian Tax Forum, 26(4), pp. 633-663.

View at publisher

Abstract

The Australian income tax regime is generally regarded as a mechanism by which the Federal Government raises revenue, with much of the revenue raised used to support public spending programs. A prime example of this type of spending program is health care. However, a government may also decide that the private sector should provide a greater share of the nation's health care. To achieve such a policy it can bring about change through positive regulation, or it can use the taxation regime, via tax expenditures, not to raise revenue but to steer or influence individuals in its desired direction. When used for this purpose, tax expenditures steer taxpayers towards or away from certain behaviour by either imposing costs on, or providing benefits to them. Within the context of the health sector, the Australian Federal Government deploys social steering via the tax system, with the Medicare Levy Surcharge and the 30 percent Private Health Insurance Rebate intended to steer taxpayer behaviour towards the Government’s policy goal of increasing the amount of health provision through the private sector. These steering mechanisms are complemented by the ‘Lifetime Health Cover Initiative’.

This article, through the lens of behavioural economics, considers the ways in which these assorted mechanisms might have been expected to operate and whether they encourage individuals to purchase private health insurance.

Impact and interest:

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 49732
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: private health insurance, behavioural models, income tax policy
ISSN: 0812-695X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Deposited On: 19 Apr 2012 12:14
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2013 00:43

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page