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Impact of China's Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance on Health Care Utilization and Expenditure

Author

Listed:
  • Liu, Hong

    () (Central University of Finance and Economics)

  • Zhao, Zhong

    () (Renmin University of China)

Abstract

In 2007, China launched a subsidized voluntary public health insurance program, the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance, for urban residents without formal employment, including children, the elderly, and other unemployed urban residents. We estimate the impact of this program on health care utilization and expenditure using 2006 and 2009 waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. We find that this program has significantly increased the utilization of formal medical services. This result is robust to various specifications and multiple estimation strategies. However, there is no evidence that it has reduced out-of-pocket expenditure and some evidence suggesting that it has increased the total health care expenditure. We also find that this program has improved medical care utilization more for the elderly, for the low- and middle-income families, and for the residents in the relatively poor western region.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2012. "Impact of China's Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance on Health Care Utilization and Expenditure," IZA Discussion Papers 6768, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6768
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chen, Yuyu & Jin, Ginger Zhe, 2012. "Does health insurance coverage lead to better health and educational outcomes? Evidence from rural China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-14.
    2. Xiaoyun Sun & Sukhan Jackson & Gordon Carmichael & Adrian C. Sleigh, 2009. "Catastrophic medical payment and financial protection in rural China: evidence from the New Cooperative Medical Scheme in Shandong Province," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 103-119.
    3. Chyi, Hau & Zhou, Bo, 2014. "The effects of tuition reforms on school enrollment in rural China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 104-123.
    4. Wanchuan Lin & Gordon G. Liu & Gang Chen, 2009. "The Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance: a landmark reform towards universal coverage in China," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S2), pages 83-96, July.
    5. Wagstaff, Adam & Lindelow, Magnus, 2008. "Can insurance increase financial risk?: The curious case of health insurance in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 990-1005, July.
    6. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Public health insurance and medical treatment: the equalizing impact of the Medicaid expansions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 63-89, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2014. "Modeling the Transition Towards Renminbi's Full Convertibility: Implications for China’s Growth," MPRA Paper 54129, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:bla:buecrs:v:68:y:2016:i:s1:p:146-170 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health expenditure; health insurance; health care utilization; urban China;

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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