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Determinants and the impact of the National Health Insurance on neonatal mortality in Ghana


  • Monica Lambon-Quayefio

    () (University of Ghana)

  • Nkechi S. Owoo

    (University of Ghana)


Abstract The national health insurance was established to increase access to health care services and the maternal component was later introduced to improve the health outcomes of both mother and child. The main objectives of this study are to investigate the factors that affect neonatal deaths as well as examine the effect of the Ghana Health Insurance on neonatal deaths in Ghana. Using the most recent round of the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, the study estimates the probit model with interaction effects to account for the heterogeneity in outcomes. Additionally, the study employs the propensity score matching approach to account for the possible endogeneity in the insurance enrolment decision. Results from the estimations, after controlling for relevant individual and household characteristics suggest that the national health insurance significantly reduces the likelihood of neonatal deaths. Estimates remain consistent even after more robust estimators are employed. Estimates from the interaction between place of residence and health insurance indicate that health insurance beneficiaries who reside in urban areas are at a higher risk of neonatal deaths compared to other women. Access to medical facilities proxied by distance to the nearest health post emerged as an important predictor of neonatal death. The study also suggests significant regional differences in neonatal deaths. We, therefore, conclude that the national health insurance may have the potential to substantially improve the health outcomes of neonates and have policy implications for increasing coverage to more mothers and their neonates, as well as coverage in critical neonatal services and drugs.

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Lambon-Quayefio & Nkechi S. Owoo, 2017. "Determinants and the impact of the National Health Insurance on neonatal mortality in Ghana," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-017-0169-z
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-017-0169-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
    2. Petra E. Todd & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2001. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Performance of Propensity-Score Matching Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 112-118, May.
    3. Agar Brugiavini & Noemi Pace, 2011. "Extending Health Insurance: Effects of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/27, European University Institute.
    4. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    5. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    6. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Liu, Jin-Tan, 2014. "The impact of National Health Insurance on birth outcomes: A natural experiment in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 75-91.
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