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Financial protection for the poor in Colombia: the effects of a subsidized health insurance scheme

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  • Ramón Castaño

    ()

  • Andrés Zambrano

    ()

Abstract

Financial protection is one of the objectives of health systems, which protects poor households from falling into poverty as a result of health care related expenses. Expanding prepayment schemes to the poor is difficult in developing countries because labor is largely informal. Providing health care free-at-point-of-service does not adequately target spending on the poorest, but occupation- or community-based schemes have also inherent limitations to achieve universal coverage. Colombia adopted a government-subsidized health insurance scheme (SHI) strategy. The political debate about increasing SHI enrollment needs evidence about the effectiveness of this scheme regarding financial protection. This study runs a four-part model to estimate the effect of SHI on out-of-pocket expenses by the poor that are currently uninsured, if they were enrolled in the SHI. The results show a 43% and 50% reduction in expenses at Bogotá and national level respectively, which confirms the effectiveness of SHI as a financial protection tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramón Castaño & Andrés Zambrano, 2007. "Financial protection for the poor in Colombia: the effects of a subsidized health insurance scheme," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002723, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:002723
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    File URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/bitstream/handle/10336/10976/2723.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jairo Restrepo & Andrés Zambrano & Mauricio Velez & Manuel Ramirez, 2007. "Health insurance as a strategy for access: streamlined facts of the colombian health care reform," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002783, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. Jonathan Gruber, 2003. "Evaluating Alternative Approaches to Incremental Health-Insurance Expansion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 271-276, May.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Tax Incentives and the Decision to Purchase Health Insurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," NBER Working Papers 4435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. de la Mata, Dolores & Gaviria, Carlos Felipe, 2015. "Losing health insurance when young: Impacts on usage of medical services and health," Research Department working papers 766, CAF Development Bank Of Latinamerica.
    2. Gaviria Garcés, Carlos Felipe & De la Mata, Dolores, 2016. "Losing health insurance when young: Impacts on usage of medical services and health in Colombia," PAPELES EN SALUD 015113, MINISTERIO DE SALUD Y PROTECCIÓN SOCIAL.

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    Keywords

    Financial protection; subsidized insurance; out of pocket expenses; Colombia;

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