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Who Benefits From Free Health Insurance: Evidence from Mexico

Conti, G; Ginja, R; (2020) Who Benefits From Free Health Insurance: Evidence from Mexico. The Journal of Human Resources 1117-9157R2. 10.3368/jhr.58.3.1117-9157R2. (In press).

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Abstract

We present a comprehensive evaluation of the health impacts of the introduction and expansion of a large non-contributory health insurance program in Mexico, the Seguro Popular (SP). SP provided access to health services without co-pays to individuals with no Social Security protection. We identify the program impacts using its rollout across municipalities between 2002 and 2010. In general, we do not detect significant effects on mortality (overall or at any age); the only exception is a reduction in infant mortality (IM) in poor municipalities for which intention-to-treat estimates show a 10% decline due to SP. This decline is attributable to reductions in deaths associated with conditions originating in the perinatal period, congenital malformations, diarrhea and respiratory infections. In these poor municipalities, SP increased obstetric-related hospital admissions by 7%, and hospital admissions among infants by 6%. There were no impacts on mortality or use of hospitals in rich municipalities. The decline in IM rate caused by SP closed nearly all the IMR gap between poor and rich municipalities.

Type: Article
Title: Who Benefits From Free Health Insurance: Evidence from Mexico
DOI: 10.3368/jhr.58.3.1117-9157R2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.58.3.1117-9157R2
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Health Insurance, Infant Mortality, Health Care Utilization, Mexico.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117371
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