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Adverse selection in a voluntary Rural Mutual Health Care health insurance scheme in China

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  • Wang, Hong
  • Zhang, Licheng
  • Yip, Winnie
  • Hsiao, William

Abstract

This study examines adverse selection in a subsidized voluntary health insurance scheme, the Rural Mutual Health Care (RMHC) scheme, in a poor rural area of China. The study was made possible by a unique longitudinal data set: the total sample includes 3492 rural residents from 1020 households. Logistic regression was employed for the data analysis. The results show that although this subsidized scheme achieved a considerable high enrollment rate of 71% of rural residents, adverse selection still exists. In general, individuals with worse health status are more likely to enroll in RMHC than individuals with better health status. Although the household is set as the enrollment unit for the RMHC for the purpose of reducing adverse selection, nearly 1/3 of enrolled households are actually only partially enrolled. Furthermore, we found that adverse selection mainly occurs in partially enrolled households. The non-enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households have the best health status, while the enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households have the worst health status. Pre-RMHC, medical expenditure for enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households was 206.6 yuan per capita per year, which is 1.7 times as much as the pre-RMHC medical expenditure for non-enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households. The study also reveals that the pre-enrolled medical expenditure per capita per year of enrolled individuals was 9.6% higher than the pre-enrolled medical expenditure of all residents, including both enrolled and non-enrolled individuals. In conclusion, although the subsidized RMHC scheme reached a very high enrollment rate and the household is set as the enrollment unit for the purpose of reducing adverse selection, adverse selection still exists, especially within partially enrolled households. Voluntary RMHC will not be financially sustainable if the adverse selection is not fully taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Hong & Zhang, Licheng & Yip, Winnie & Hsiao, William, 2006. "Adverse selection in a voluntary Rural Mutual Health Care health insurance scheme in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1236-1245, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:5:p:1236-1245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Linging Hou & Dana L.K. Hoag & Yueying Mu, 2011. "Testing for adverse selection of crop insurance in northern China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 462-475, November.
    2. Lijian Qin & Suwen Pan & Chenggang Wang & Zhongyi Jiang, 2012. "Adverse selection in China's New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(1), pages 69-83, January.
    3. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:4:p:1073-1102 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. You, Xuedan & Kobayashi, Yasuki, 2009. "The new cooperative medical scheme in China," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 1-9, June.
    5. Adam Wagstaff & Winnie Yip & Magnus Lindelow & William C. Hsiao, 2009. "China's health system and its reform: a review of recent studies," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S2), pages 7-23, July.
    6. Agar Brugiavini & Noemi Pace, 2016. "Extending health insurance in Ghana: effects of the National Health Insurance Scheme on maternity care," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-10, December.
    7. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Does health insurance matter? Evidence from China’s urban resident basic medical insurance," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 1007-1020.
    8. Martine AUDIBERT & Jacky MATHONNAT & Aurore PELISSIER & Xiao Xian HUANG & Anning MA & Ningshan CHEN, 2011. "Curative Activities of Township Hospitals in Weifang Prefecture, China: An Analysis of Environmental and Supply-Side Determinants," Working Papers 201130, CERDI.
    9. Zhang, Licheng & Wang, Hong, 2008. "Dynamic process of adverse selection: Evidence from a subsidized community-based health insurance in rural China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1173-1182, October.
    10. Xiong, Juyang & Hipgrave, David & Myklebust, Karoline & Guo, Sufang & Scherpbier, Robert W. & Tong, Xuetao & Yao, Lan & Moran, Andrew E., 2013. "Child health security in China: A survey of child health insurance coverage in diverse areas of the country," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 15-19.
    11. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:11:p:1177-1185 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Tabea Herrmann & Juliane Zenker, 2016. "Risk-type and preference-based selection and stability of funeral insurance associations in Thailand," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 198, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    13. Aurore Pelissier & Martine Audibert & Jacky Mathonnat & Xiao Xian Huang & Ningshan Chen & Anning Ma, 2012. "Curative Activities of Township Hospitals in Weifang Prefecture, China: An Analysis of Environmental and Supply-Side Determinants," Post-Print halshs-00640742, HAL.
    14. Zelalem Yilma & Owen O’Donnell & Anagaw Mebratie & Getnet Alemu & Arjun S. Bedi, 2015. "Subjective Expectations of Medical Expenditures and Insurance in Rural Ethiopia," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-120/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Zenker, Juliane & Herrmann, Tabea, 2016. "Risk-type and preference-based selection and stability of funeral insurance associations in Thailand," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145653, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Li, Cheng & Yu, Xuan & Butler, James R.G. & Yiengprugsawan, Vasoontara & Yu, Min, 2011. "Moving towards universal health insurance in China: Performance, issues and lessons from Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 359-366, August.

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