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Featuring Emily Gustafsson-Wright
Guest Scholar, Brookings Institution
Senior Researcher, Amsterdam Institute for International Development
Jacques van der Gaag
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Director, Amsterdam Institute for International Development
Hosted by Amanda Glassman
Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow
Center for Global Development
Can community-based health insurance for the poor increase access to health care and reduce the economic burden of disease? Emily Gustafsson-Wright and Jacques van der Gaag will present micro-evidence from a private health insurance intervention in a rural part of Kwara State. This program, launched in 2009, offers a unique combination of subsidized health insurance, a comprehensive benefit package and access to high-quality health facilities. The study finds that the intervention not only increases utilization of health care among the insured (as well as in the treatment community overall), but that it also increases utilization of quality health care. In addition, the insurance intervention leads to a significant reduction in out-of-pocket expenditures on health and appears to increase awareness of health status. Finally, the results point to a decline in prevalence of measured hypertension among the insured. Additional analysis finds that impacts are heterogeneous across the population with greater impacts on the insured poor.