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Summaries of Independent Scientist (K) Awards

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Bundorf, Kate M.

Institution: Stanford University
Grant Title: Health Plan Choice: Implications for Consumers & Purchasers
Grant Number:  K02 HS11668
Duration: 5 years (2001-2006)
Total Award: $383,000

Project Description: The purpose of this research was to determine how choice among competing health plans within group purchasing arrangements can most effectively be designed to provide access to and deliver high quality, high-value health care to consumers. The project had three main goals:

  1. To analyze how individuals choose among alternative health plans, focusing on how characteristics of managed care plans influence the choices of different types of consumers.
  2. To examine the effects of group purchasing strategies relying on choice among competing plans on cost and access to health insurance for consumers and purchasers, and to determine how the mix of individuals within a purchasing group affects these outcomes.
  3. To determine how differences between public and private purchasers in their objectives and the composition of their covered populations affect the feasibility and optimal design of group health insurance purchasing arrangements.

Career Goals: Dr. Bundorf is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Research and Policy in the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is also a Fellow at the Centers for Health Policy and Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford. Additionally, Dr. Bundorf is a Faculty Research Fellow in the Health Care Program of the National Bureau of Economics Research at Stanford. Dr. Bundorf's long-term career goal is to make significant research contributions on the role of health insurance in providing access and delivering high quality, high-value health care to consumers.

Progress to Date: This grant has been completed. It included a series of projects that examined aspects of individual and purchaser health insurance choices. The project was completed in 2007.  One series of studies examined access to health insurance in the employer-sponsored market. See publications listed below for further descriptions. Dr. Bundorf also examined how the characteristics of the health benefits offered by employers affect worker insurance coverage decisions. 

Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:

  • Most outstanding abstract within Health Insurance Markets Theme, 2004 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity.
  • Study Section Reviewer, AHRQ.

K-Generated Publications:

Bundorf MK. Employee demand for health insurance and employer health plan choices. Journal of Health Economics 2002. 21:65-88.

Baker LC, Wagner TH, Singer S, Bundorf MK. Use of the Internet and E-Mail for health care information: Results from a national survey. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003. 289(18):2400-406.

Bundorf MK, Singer S, Wagner T, Baker LC. Consumer search for information about health insurance and the role of the Internet. The American Journal of Managed Care  2004.

Nicholson S, Bundorf MK, Stein R, Polsky D. The magnitude and nature of risk selection in employer-sponsored health plans. Health Services Research 2004. 39(6) Part 1:1817-838.

Wagner TH, Baker LC, Bundorf MK, Singer S. Use of the Internet for health information by the chronically ill. Preventing Chronic Disease 2004. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2004/

Bhattacharya J, Bundorf MK. The incidence of the health care costs of obesity. NBER Working Paper 11303, May 2005.

Wagner TH, Bundorf MK, Singer S, et al. Free Internet access, the digital divide, and health information. Medical Care 2005. 43(4):415-20.

Bundorf MK, Baker, LC, Singer S, et al. Who searches the Internet for health information? Health Services Research 2006. June:41(3):819-36.

Bundorf MK, Simon KS. The effects of rate regulation on demand for supplemental health insurance. American Economics Review 2006. 96(2):67-71.

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