Social Sciences Brown Bag

Carolin Sjöholm, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, School of Economics will present:

Universal Health Care in the Developing Country Context

In 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted universal healthcare as part of the overall commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) has often been proposed as a financial strategy to expand health insurance in developing countries. Premium subsidies represent an increasingly common policy tool to promote insurance take-up. In this study I use the implementation of a new premium subsidy scheme for the CBHI in Rwanda as a quasi-experiment to estimate the impact of premium subsidies on two policy relevant outcomes: insurance coverage and scheme financial sustainability. 
I estimate the price sensitivity of the demand for health insurance and use the estimates to predict insurance take-up levels under a number of alternative premium subsidy schemes. The results suggest that premium subsidies only have a modest effect on the take-up of insurance compared to non-subsidized premiums. Furthermore, I use unique data on insurer costs to account for the effects of subsidies on patient costs.   The results suggest that the effects of adverse selection contribute to financially unsustainable insurance schemes in Rwanda. Overall, this research furthers to improved policy knowledge on the financially sustainable expansion of social protection in the developing country context.

Friday, February 14 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Academic Office Building (AOB), 201
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

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Christine Flood

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