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Private Health Insurance in OECD Countries: The Benefits and Costs for Individuals and Health Systems


  • Francesca Colombo
  • Nicole Tapay


Governments often look to private health insurance (PHI) as a possible means of addressing some health system challenges. For example, they may consider enhancing its role as an alternative source of health financing and a way to increase system capacity, or promoting it as a tool to further additional health policy goals, such as enhanced individual responsibility. In some countries policy makers regard PHI as a key element of their health coverage systemsWhile private health insurance represents, on average, only a small share of total health funding across the OECD area, it plays a significant role in health financing in some OECD countries and it covers at least 30% of the population in a third of the OECD members. It also plays a variety of roles, ranging from primary coverage for particular population groups to a supporting role for public systems.This paper assesses evidence on the effects of PHI in different national contexts and draws conclusions about its ... Certains gouvernements voient dans l’assurance maladie privée un moyen de relever quelquesuns des défis liés aux systèmes de santé. Par exemple, certains envisagent de promouvoir son rôle de source de financement de substitution, de l’utiliser pour accroître les capacités du système, ou encore de la faire contribuer à la réalisation d’autres objectifs de la politique de santé, tels que le renforcement de la responsabilité individuelle. Dans certains pays, les décideurs considèrent l’assurance maladie privée comme un élément fondamental du système de couverture maladie.Bien que l’assurance maladie privée ne représente en moyenne qu’une petite fraction du financement total des dépenses de santé dans la zone OCDE, elle constitue dans quelques pays Membres un mode de financement important des soins et couvre au moins 30 pour cent de la population dans un tiers des pays de l’OCDE. Elle joue par ailleurs des rôles multiples, allant de l’octroi d’une couverture primaire à des ...

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  • Francesca Colombo & Nicole Tapay, 2004. "Private Health Insurance in OECD Countries: The Benefits and Costs for Individuals and Health Systems," OECD Health Working Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:15-en

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