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Does the financial protection of health insurance vary across providers? Vietnam's experience

Ardeshir Sepehri, Sisira Sarma () and Umut Oguzoglu ()

Social Science & Medicine, 2011, vol. 73, issue 4, 559-567

Abstract: Using household panel data from Vietnam, this paper compares out-of-pocket health expenditures on outpatient care at a health facility between insured and uninsured patients as well as across various providers. In the random effects model, the estimated coefficient of the insurance status variable suggests that insurance reduces out-of-pocket spending by 24% for those with the compulsory and voluntary coverage and by about 15% for those with the health insurance for the poor coverage. However, the modest financial protection of the compulsory and voluntary schemes disappears once we control for time-invariant unobserved individual effects using the fixed effects model. Additional analysis of the interaction terms involving the type of insurance and health facility suggests that the overall insignificant reduction in out-of-pocket expenditures as a result of the insurance schemes masks wide variations in the reduction in out-of-pocket sending across various providers. Insurance reduces out-of-pocket expenditures more for those enrollees using district and higher level public health facilities than those using commune health centers. Compared to the uninsured patients using district hospitals, compulsory and voluntary insurance schemes reduce out-of-pocket expenditures by 40 and 32%, respectively. However, for contacts at the commune health centers, both the compulsory health scheme and the voluntary health insurance scheme schemes have little influence on out-of-pocket spending while the health insurance scheme for the poor reduces out-of-pocket spending by about 15%.

Keywords: Health; care; expenditures; Health; insurance; Unobserved; heterogeneity; Vietnam (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:4:p:559-567