IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Medical care use and selection in a social health insurance with an equalization fund: evidence from Colombia


  • Antonio J. Trujillo

    (College of Health and Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, USA)


This paper studies the relationship between health status and insurance participation, and between insurance status and medical use in the context of a social health insurance with an equalization fund (SHIEF). Under this system, revenues from a mandatory payroll tax are collected into a single pool (equalization fund) that reimburses for-profit insurance companies according to a capitated formula. Although competition should induce insurers to control costs without reducing the quality of service necessary to attract consumers, limitations in the capitation formula might induce insurers to select against bad risks, and limitations in the contribution system might induce more healthy individuals to evade enrollment. A three-equation model having social health insurance, private health insurance, and using medical services is estimated using a 1997 Colombian household survey. Consistent with similar studies, participation in SHIEF increases medical care use. On the other hand, the evidence on selection is somewhat mixed: individuals who report good health status are more likely to participate in SHIEF, while those without a chronic condition are less likely to participate in SHIEF. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio J. Trujillo, 2003. "Medical care use and selection in a social health insurance with an equalization fund: evidence from Colombia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 231-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:231-246 DOI: 10.1002/hec.711

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Salanie & Julie Valentin, 1999. "Early Starters versus Late Beginners," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 731-760, August.
    2. Hurd, Michael D. & McGarry, Kathleen, 1997. "Medical insurance and the use of health care services by the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 129-154, April.
    3. David Blau & Philip Robins, 1991. "Child care demand and labor supply of young mothers over time," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(3), pages 333-351, August.
    4. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    5. Kenneth Bollen & David Guilkey & Thomas Mroz, 1995. "Binary outcomes and endogenous explanatory variables: Tests and solutions with an application to the demand for contraceptive use in tunisia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(1), pages 111-131, February.
    6. A. C. Cameron & P. K. Trivedi & Frank Milne & J. Piggott, 1988. "A Microeconometric Model of the Demand for Health Care and Health Insurance in Australia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 85-106.
    7. Londono, Juan-Luis & Frenk, Julio, 1997. "Structured pluralism: towards an innovative model for health system reform in Latin America," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-36, July.
    8. John S. Akin & David K. Guilkey & Paul L. Hutchinson & Michael T. Mcintosh, 1998. "Price elasticities of demand for curative health care with control for sample selectivity on endogenous illness: an analysis for Sri Lanka," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 509-531.
    9. Gertler, Paul & Sturm, Roland, 1997. "Private health insurance and public expenditures in Jamaica," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 237-257, March.
    10. Randall P. Ellis & Thomas G. McGuire, 1993. "Supply-Side and Demand-Side Cost Sharing in Health Care," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 135-151, Fall.
    11. Hugh R. Waters, 1999. "Measuring the impact of health insurance with a correction for selection bias-a case study of Ecuador," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 473-483.
    12. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1996. "Reimbursing Health Plans and Health Providers: Efficiency in Production versus Selection," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1236-1263, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Pradhan, Menno, 2005. "Health insurance impacts on health and nonmedical consumption in a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3563, The World Bank.
    2. Sosa-Rubí, Sandra G. & Galárraga, Omar & Harris, Jeffrey E., 2009. "Heterogeneous impact of the "Seguro Popular" program on the utilization of obstetrical services in Mexico, 2001-2006: A multinomial probit model with a discrete endogenous variable," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 20-34, January.
    3. Antonio Trujillo & Jorge Portillo & John Vernon, 2005. "The Impact of Subsidized Health Insurance for the Poor: Evaluating the Colombian Experience Using Propensity Score Matching," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 211-239, September.
    4. Fernando Ruiz & Liliana Amaya & Stella Venegas, 2007. "Progressive segmented health insurance: Colombian health reform and access to health services," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 3-18.
    5. Antonio J. Trujillo & Dawn C. McCalla, 2004. "Are Colombian sickness funds cream skimming enrollees? An analysis with suggestions for policy improvement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 873-888.
    6. Jeffrey E. Harris & Sandra G. Sosa-Rubi, 2009. "Impact of "Seguro Popular" on Prenatal Visits in Mexico, 2002-2005: Latent Class Model of Count Data with a Discrete Endogenous Variable," NBER Working Papers 14995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Luis Miguel Tovar Cuevas & Fabio Alberto Arias Arbeláez, 2005. "Determinantes Del Estado De Salud De La Población Colombiana," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO-CIDSE 002323, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE - CIDSE.
    8. Juan Miguel Gallego & Manuel Ramírez Gómez & Carlos Sepúlveda, 2005. "The Determinants of The Health Status in a Developing Country: results from the Colombian Case," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 63, pages 111-135, Julio-Dic.
    9. Sepehri, Ardeshir & Simpson, Wayne & Sarma, Sisira, 2006. "The influence of health insurance on hospital admission and length of stay--The case of Vietnam," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(7), pages 1757-1770, October.
    10. Jeannette Liliana Amaya & Fernando Ruiz & Antonio J. Trujillo & Christine Buttorff, 2016. "Identifying barriers to move to better health coverage: preferences for health insurance benefits among the rural poor population in La Guajira, Colombia," International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 126-138, January.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:231-246. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.