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The impact of health insurance for children under age 6 in Vietnam: A regression discontinuity approach.

Palmer, M; Mitra, S; Mont, D; Groce, N; (2014) The impact of health insurance for children under age 6 in Vietnam: A regression discontinuity approach. Soc Sci Med 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.012. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Accessing health services at an early age is important to future health and life outcomes. Yet, little is currently known on the role of health insurance in facilitating access to care for children. Exploiting a regression discontinuity design made possible through a policy to provide health insurance to pre-school aged children in Vietnam, this paper evaluates the impact of health insurance on the health care utilization outcomes of children at the eligibility threshold of six years. Using three rounds of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey, the study finds a positive impact on inpatient and outpatient visits and no significant impact on expenditures per visit at public facilities. We find moderately high use of private outpatient services and no evidence of a switch from private to covered public facilities under insurance. Results suggest that adopting public health insurance programs for children under age 6 may be an important vehicle to improving service utilization in a low- and middle-income country context. Challenges remain in providing adequate protections from the costs and other barriers to care.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of health insurance for children under age 6 in Vietnam: A regression discontinuity approach.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.012
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: Children, Health care utilization, Health insurance, Regression discontinuity design, Vietnam
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1447273
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