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Factoring affecting the Demand for Health Insurance in a Micro Insurance Scheme

Nishant Jain and Ramesh Bhat ()

No WP2006-07-02, IIMA Working Papers from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department

Abstract: Health insurance schemes are increasingly recognised as preferable mechanisms to finance health care provision. In this direction micro health insurance schemes and community based health insurance schemes are assuming significant importance in reaching large number of people. However, at the community level despite low premiums the penetration of health insurance is small. The objective of this paper is to analyse factors determining the demand for private health insurance in a micro insurance scheme setting. The study uses two-stage model to examine this issue. First, we determine the factors which affect the insurance purchase decisions and at second level we focus on studying factors which affect the amount of insurance purchase using Heckman two-stage estimation procedure. The data of this study is based on survey and collection of primary data from the Anand district of Gujarat where Charotar Arogya Mandal is offering a health insurance scheme. The results indicate that income and healthcare expenditure are significant determinants of health insurance purchase. Age, coverage of illnesses and knowledge about insurance were also found to be affecting health insurance purchase decision positively. For the decision regarding amount of health insurance purchase, income was found to be having significant but non-linear relationship. In addition, number of children in the family, age, and perception regarding future healthcare expenditure were also found to be significant. The study discusses implications of these results.

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