Health Insurance

Does Health Insurance Improve Health?

In Burkina Faso, the answer is ‘no‘. According to Fink et al. (2013):

Our results suggest that the insurance had limited effects on average out-of-pocket expenditures in the target areas, but substantially reduced the likelihood of catastrophic health expenditure. The introduction of the insurance scheme did not have any effect on health outcomes for children and young adults, but appears to have increased mortality among individuals aged 65 and older. The negative health effects of the program appear to be primarily driven by the adverse provider incentives generated by the scheme and the resulting decline in the quality of care received by patients.

Thus, while it is likely that well-designed health insurance programs do improve health, poorly designed health insurance programs can actually have some negative effects on patients.


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