The impact of health insurance schemes for the informal sector in low- and middle-income countries : a systematic review
AbstractThis paper summarizes the literature on the impact of state subsidized or social health insurance schemes that have been offered, mostly on a voluntary basis, to the informal sector in low- and middle-income countries. A substantial number of papers provide estimations of average treatment on the treated effect for insured persons. The authors summarize papers that correct for the problem of self-selection into insurance and papers that estimate the average intention to treat effect. Summarizing the literature was difficult because of the lack of (1) uniformity in the use of meaningful definitions of outcomes that indicate welfare improvements and (2) clarity in the consideration of selection issues. They find the uptake of insurance schemes, in many cases, to be less than expected. In general, we find no strong evidence of an impact on utilization, protection from financial risk, and health status. However, a few insurance schemes afford significant protection from high levels of out-of-pocket expenditures. In these cases, however, the impact on the poor is weaker. More information is needed to understand the reasons for low enrollment and to explain the limited impact of health insurance among the insured.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6324.
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Health Economics&Finance; Health Law; Insurance&Risk Mitigation;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2013-01-26 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2013-01-26 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-IUE-2013-01-26 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-MFD-2013-01-26 (Microfinance)
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