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Enrolling the Self-Employed in Mandatory Health Insurance in Colombia: are we missing other factors?

Author

Listed:
  • Alejandro Arrieta

    (Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Public Health)

  • Ariadna García Prado

    () (Departamento de Economía-UPNA)

  • Giota Panopoulou

Abstract

We assess the impact that Colombia’s 1993 health sector reform had on the enrollment of self-employed workers in mandatory social health insurance scheme, with a especial focus on the independent contractors. This group grew dramatically in the form of workers cooperatives between 1993 and 2003, becoming a source of self-employed evasion and a way to disguised employment. We use two national-level Living Standards Measurement Surveys conducted in Colombia in 1997 and 2003, and follow a methodology that corrects for sample selection, decomposing health insurance coverage variation into changes attributed to the reform and to the characteristics of independent contractors. We find that: (i) Between 1997 and 2003, enrollment increased in 28 percentage points reaching an insurance rate of 62%, still below the reform goal of 80%, (ii) enrollment of independent contractors in 1997 was only 35% (compared to 50%) after adjusting by the selection bias due to disguised employment, (ii) the new legislation and stringent monitoring implemented in 2003 to cope with evasion seem to be effective since the sample selection due to disguised employment was not statistically significant in 2003. Addressing the interaction of the labor market with the health reform, as well as, accounting for the heterogeneity within the self-employed group are the main contributions of this paper to the literature on health insurance reforms in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Arrieta & Ariadna García Prado & Giota Panopoulou, 2012. "Enrolling the Self-Employed in Mandatory Health Insurance in Colombia: are we missing other factors?," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1213, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:1213
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.unavarra.es/pub/DocumentosTrab/DT1213.PDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2003. "Does inequality in self-assessed health predict inequality in survival by income? Evidence from Swedish data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1621-1629, November.
    2. Castano, Ramon & Zambrano, Andres, 2006. "Biased selection within the social health insurance market in Colombia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(2-3), pages 313-324, December.
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    4. 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.
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    10. T.H. Gindling & Katherine Terrell, 2004. "Legal Minimum Wages and the Wages of Formal and Informal Sector Workers in Costa Rica," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-647, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employed; worker cooperatives; health insurance; Colombia.;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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