Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Estimating Willingness-to-Pay for health insurance among rural poor in India by reference to Engel's law

Contents:

Author Info

  • Binnendijk, Erika
  • Dror, David M.
  • Gerelle, Eric
  • Koren, Ruth
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) (a.k.a. micro health insurance) is a contributory health insurance among rural poor in developing countries. As CBHI schemes typically function with no subsidy income, the schemes' expenditures cannot exceed their premium income. A good estimate of Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) among the target population affiliating on a voluntary basis is therefore essential for package design. Previous estimates of WTP reported materially and significantly different WTP levels across locations (even within one state), making it necessity to base estimates on household surveys. This is time-consuming and expensive. This study seeks to identify a coherent anchor for local estimation of WTP without having to rely on household surveys in each CBHI implementation. Using data collected in 2008–2010 among rural poor households in six locations in India (total 7874 households), we found that in all locations WTP expressed as percentage of income decreases with household income. This reminds of Engel's law on food expenditures. We checked several possible anchors: overall income, discretionary income and food expenditures. We compared WTP expressed as percentage of these anchors, by calculating the Coefficient of Variation (for inter-community variation) and Concentration indices (for intra-community variation). The Coefficient of variation was 0.36, 0.43 and 0.50 for WTP as percent of food expenditures, overall income and discretionary income, respectively. In all locations the concentration index for WTP as percentage of food expenditures was the lowest. Thus, food expenditures had the most consistent relationship with WTP within each location and across the six locations. These findings indicate that like food, health insurance is considered a necessity good even by people with very low income and no prior experience with health insurance. We conclude that the level of WTP could be estimated based on each community's food expenditures, and that this information can be obtained everywhere without having to conduct household surveys.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612007289
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 76 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 67-73

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:67-73

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: India; Willingness to pay; Low-income populations; Community-based health insurance; Micro health insurance; Engel's law;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:67-73. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.