The Impact of Universal Health Insurance on Catastrophic and Out-of-Pocket Health Expenditures in Mexico: a Model with an Endogoenous Treatment Variable
The main goal of Seguro Popular is to improve the financial protection of the uninsured population against excessive health expenditures. Seguro Popular (SP) covers a variety of preventive and curative procedures, as well as medicines, and hospital care for the poorest segment of the Mexican population. Data: This paper estimates the impact of Seguro Popular on catastrophic health expenditures, as well as out-of-pocket health expenditures, from three different sources: National Household Survey of Income and Expenditures (ENIGH 2006); National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT 2006); and SP Impact Evaluation Survey. Methods: We first estimate naive probit models, and then compare them against bivariate probit models which use instrumental variables that take advantage of the specific SP implementation mechanisms to address the endogeneity of insurance selection choices. Results: No effect on catastrophic health expenditures is observed in the ENIGH sample. However, we find a statistically significant effect on the reduction of household’s expenditures on medicines and outpatient care. On the other hand, Seguro Popular reduces the probability of catastrophic health expenditures using the other two datasets: SP Impact Evaluation Survey, and ENSANUT. We also observe a reduction of the probability of expenditures on medicines and outpatient care among the SP insured families.
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