Health Insurance International Health Care Systems

The Largest Insurance Expansion in History

That is the title of an important paper by Jonathan Gruber, Mengyun Lin & Junjian Yi. The abstract is below:

The New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) rolled out in China from 2003-2008 provided insurance to 800 million rural Chinese. We combine aggregate mortality data with individual survey data, and identify the impact of the NCMS from program rollout and heterogeneity across areas in their rural share. We find that there was a significant decline in aggregate mortality, with the program saving more than one million lives per year at its peak, and explaining 78% of the entire increase in life expectancy in China over this period. We confirm these mortality effects using micro-data on mortality, other health outcomes, and utilization.

Perhaps it may not surpise you that the subtitle of this article is “Saving One Million Lives Per Year in China