Is There a Market for Voluntary Health Insurance in Developing Countries?
AbstractIn many developing countries the proportion of health care spending paid out of pocket is about half of all spending or more. This study examines the distribution of such spending by income and care type, and the variation in spending about its expected value, in order to see whether voluntary private health insurance that reduces variation in spending might be able to be supplied. Using data from the World Health Survey for 14 developing countries, we find that out of pocket spending varies by income but that most spending usually occurs in income quintiles below the topmost quintile. We use estimates of the variance of total spending, hospital spending, physician spending, and outpatient drug spending about their means to generate estimates of the risk premia risk averse consumers might pay for insurance coverage. For hospital spending and total spending, these risk premia as a percent of expenses are generally larger than reasonable estimates of private health insurer loading as a percent of expenses, suggesting that voluntary insurance might be feasible. However, the strong relationship between spending and income suggests that insurance markets may need to be segmented by income.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14095.
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2008-06-27 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-DEV-2008-06-27 (Development)
- NEP-HEA-2008-06-27 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2008-06-27 (Insurance Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Garber, Alan M. & Phelps, Charles E., 1997. "Economic foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, February.
- Rebecca L. Thornton & Laurel E. Hatt & Erica M. Field & Mursaleena Islam & Freddy Solís Diaz & Martha Azucena González, 2010. "Social security health insurance for the informal sector in Nicaragua: a randomized evaluation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 181-206, September.
- Grant Miller & Diana Pinto & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2013.
"Risk Protection, Service Use, and Health Outcomes under Colombia's Health Insurance Program for the Poor,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 61-91, October.
- Grant Miller & Diana M. Pinto & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2009. "Risk Protection, Service Use, and Health Outcomes Under Colombia’s Health Insurance Program for the Poor," NBER Working Papers 15456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.