Willingness to pay for rural health insurance through community participation in India

Mathiyazhagan, Maathai (1998) Willingness to pay for rural health insurance through community participation in India. International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 13 (1). pp. 47-67.

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Abstract

The main objective of this article is to examine the willingness to pay for a viable rural health insurance scheme through community participation in India, and the policy concerns it engenders. The willingness to pay for a rural health insurance scheme through community participation is estimated through a contingent valuation approach (logit model), by using the rural household survey on health from Karnataka State in India. The results show that insurance/saving schemes are popular in rural areas. In fact, people have relatively good knowledge of insurance schemes (especially life insurance) rather than saving schemes. Most of the people stated they are willing to join and pay for the proposed rural health insurance scheme. However, the probability of willingness to join was found to be greater than the probability of willingness to pay. Indeed, socio-economic factors and physical accessibility to quality health services appeared to be significant determinants of willingness to join and pay for such a scheme. The main justification for the willingness to pay for a proposed rural health insurance scheme are attributed from household survey results: (a) the existing government health care provider's services is not quality oriented; (b) is not easily accessible; and, (c) is not cost effective.

The discussion suggests that policy makers in India should take serious note of the growing influence of the private sector and people's willingness to pay for organizing a rural health insurance scheme to provide quality and efficient health care in India. Policy interventions in health should not ignore private sector existence and people's willingness to pay for such a scheme and these two factors should be explicitly involved in the health management process. It is also argued that regulatory and supportive policy interventions are inevitable to promote this sector's viable and appropriate development in organizing a health insurance scheme.

Item ID: 18040
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: willingness to pay; viable health insurance scheme; community participation; contingent valuation approach
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ISSN: 1099-1751
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2012 01:38
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
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