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Social Health Insurance Why Do Nations Consider Social Insurance? Diseases and illnesses are uncertain; serious illnesses can bankrupt families; Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Health Insurance Why Do Nations Consider Social Insurance? Diseases and illnesses are uncertain; serious illnesses can bankrupt families; Health."— Presentation transcript:


2 Social Health Insurance

3 Why Do Nations Consider Social Insurance? Diseases and illnesses are uncertain; serious illnesses can bankrupt families; Health and health care are basic necessities for life, Equitable access to health care is a national goal for most countries Insurance (pooling risks) enhance people’s well-being and prevent impoverishment

4 Rely On Free Market For Insurance? Market and competition deal with efficient allocation of resources, not EQUITY There are serious market failures in the insurance market and in the health services markets. Regulations have not been able to effectively remedy the market failures Social insurance is a major approach to promote equity and address these market failures

5 Failures In The Private Insurance Market Asymmetry of Information Adverse Selection by insurance buyers Absence of Optimal Insurance Results Risk Selection by insurance company Elderly and less healthy people left uninsured

6 From NHS to SHI In the post-colonial era, most low-income countries created large public health care delivery systems modeled after the British National Health Service (NHS). These NHS-like systems deliver medical care through publicly operated delivery systems financed through general tax revenues. They typically charge at most nominal user fees in order to insure that income is not a barrier to medical care (World Bank, 1987). However, rapid medical cost inflation combined with already bloated budgets caused many governments to rethink the policy of publicly financed and delivered health care

7 Rely On The Government For Insurance? There are serious government failures:  Vested interest politics  Government operates as a monopoly  Government manages by top down hierarchy, higher ranked officials’ interests dominant over common people’s interest  Government manages by bureaucratic rules that stifle innovation and create inefficiency

8 Government Failures Distorted Payment- Misallocation of Resources Inequity Inefficiency/Higher Costs Unfriendly to Users Possible Corruption Vested Interest Politics Public Monopoly, Poor Public Administration

9 Social Health Insurance A popular approach to health care reform in developing countries is social health insurance (SI). SI plans in many developing countries finance medical care through mandatory payroll taxes and allow beneficiaries to purchase medical care from both private and public providers.

10 Social Health Insurance The movement towards SI has been motivated not only out of the desire to expand insurance coverage, but also to reduce financial pressure on public budgets (Gertler, 1998). SI is seen as a way to shift a portion of the public burden of delivering and financing health care to the private sector.

11 Social Health Insurance Social health insurance (SHI) is one form of financing health care. It is considered as 'prospective' financing where funds are pooled or collected in advance, mainly in the form of regular contributions from insurance fund members, employers and the government (Whitaker 2004). It addresses inequities in health financing where the 'healthy pays for the sick' and 'those who can afford medical care subsidizes those who cannot'.

12 Special Features of Social Insurance Mandatory for designated population to avoid adverse and risk selections A social contract between government and the enrollees Eligibility for benefits require that the enrollee has paid the premium (contribution) for a minimum period. Thus SI is not a right of every citizen, and not a welfare program Financially autonomous and has to maintain its own solvency

13 Advantages of Social Insurance Pools risks widely Can improve equity Mobilizes financial resources for health care from workers in the formal sector Low administrative costs Can control health expenditure inflation if the program is designed properly

14 Disadvantages of Social Insurance Requires sophisticated knowledge and organization to do it properly Alters economic relationship Alters locus of financial power and this power can be misused Can’t provide universal coverage unless the government subsidizes the farmers and workers in the informal sector

15 SHI: Some Examples SHI has the potential to create large risk pools, and to subsidize premiums for poorer members. Schemes of this nature are widespread in OECD countries, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, and also exist in some countries in Africa (Egypt, Senegal) and Asia (I.R.Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines).

16 Bilateral Exchange Model for Goods ConsumersProviders Service Money Hospitals Clinics Physicians

17 Trilateral Exchange Model for Goods ConsumersProviders Service User fees Hospitals Clinics Physicians Financing Organization Treasury Taxes Premiums Payments

18 Shortcomings of SHI in Poor Countries Although in theory social health insurance (SHI) has the most potential to achieve universal coverage, in practice this has been difficult to achieve in low-income countries. Among the main distinguishing features of SHI are the facts that membership is mandatory, and that premiums set are in proportion to income.

19 Shortcomings of SHI in Poor Countries Social insurance schemes require strong institutional capacities, especially for revenue collection. In low- and middle-income countries, where the majority of the population are employed in the informal sector (which in some countries absorbs 80 per cent of the economically active population) and where there are large rural populations, weak administrative capacity, and a lack of government stewardship, SHI is generally not considered a viable option.

20 Alternatives to a Failed SHI Having failed to extend SHI to the informal economy, several countries have opted to create a parallel system financed by taxation, with separate facilities operated by health ministries. Such facilities commonly deliver health care that is more limited and of poorer quality than the care offered by facilities accessible to insurance scheme members.

21 Alternatives to a Failed SHI Some schemes, however, have managed to extend coverage to workers in the informal economy. Examples of such schemes are the Seguro Popular de Salud (SPS) in Mexico and the universal coverage (UC) scheme in Thailand and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana.

22 Major Planning Issues Covered population/eligibility Enrollment/premium collection Benefit package Costing/financing Macro organization  Public, Semi-public, Private non-profit, for- profit  Monopoly or competition Payment system Administrative systems

23 Efficiency and the cost of reaching poor people The administrative costs of SHI in Western European countries amount to about five per cent of total fund revenues. Large formal sectors, significant and growing urban populations, and large risk pools have enabled SHI schemes in Europe to be efficient and to guarantee quality of care.

24 Efficiency and the cost of reaching poor people In low-income countries, however, the administrative cost of covering large populations of informal workers can be significant. Collection costs for SHI systems are substantial compared with general tax collection (which needs to be collected for other puposes anyway). For this reason, schemes aiming to extend coverage to the informal sector depend largely on general tax revenues or on specific taxes created to finance the scheme.

25 Thank You ! Any Question ?

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