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Public health insurance and mortality in the older population: Evidence from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing

Anne Nolan, Peter May, Soraya Matthews, Charles Normand, Rose Anne Kenny and Mark Ward

Health Policy, 2022, vol. 126, issue 3, 190-196

Abstract: Most developed countries provide publicly-financed insurance for many health services for their populations although there is considerable variation across countries in the types of services covered, eligible population groups and whether co-payments are levied. The Irish healthcare system, with a complex mix of public and private financing of healthcare services, offers a useful case study for an examination of the impact of type of health insurance cover on population health. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which type of health insurance cover is associated with all-cause, cause-specific, and amenable mortality using data on a representative survey of the population aged 50+ from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) matched to administrative data on death registrations. The results show that those without public or private health insurance have a higher risk of all-cause and cancer mortality. However, there is no evidence that type of health insurance cover affects mortality risk from causes that are considered amenable to healthcare intervention, although this analysis was based on a much smaller sample size. This analysis provides important evidence for a country that is implementing reforms to its financing and delivery structures in order to move towards a system of universal healthcare.

Keywords: Public health insurance; All-cause mortality; Cause-specific mortality; Amenable mortality; Ageing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.01.014

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