Household Catastrophic Health Expenditures: A Comparative Analysis of Twelve Latin American and Caribbean Countries

Salud Pública Mex 2011 July, 53 (supl 2): S85-S95

11 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2012 Last revised: 10 May 2012

Felicia Marie Knaul

Mexican Health Foundation; Harvard Global Equity Initiative

Rebeca Wong

University of Maryland - Maryland Population Research Center

Héctor Arreola-Ornelas

Fundación Mexicana para la Salud, A.C.

Oscar Méndez-Carniado

Fundación Mexicana para la Salud, A.C.

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Compare patterns of catastrophic health expenditures in 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Material and Methods: Prevalence of catastrophic expenses was estimated uniformly at the household level using household surveys. Two types of prevalence indicators were used based on out-of-pocket health expense: a) relative to an international poverty line, and b) relative to the household’s ability to pay net of their food basket. Ratios of catastrophic expenditures were estimated across subgroups defined by economic and social variables. Results: The percent of households with catastrophic health expenditures ranged from 1 to 25% in the twelve countries. In general, rural residence, lowest quintile of income, presence of older adults, and lack of health insurance in the household are associated with higher propensity of catastrophic health expenditures. However, there is vast heterogeneity by country. Conclusions: Cross national studies may serve to examine how health systems contribute to the social protection of Latin American households.

Notes: Downloadable document is in English.

Keywords: Health expenditures, social policy, health, Latin America

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Knaul, Felicia Marie and Wong, Rebeca and Arreola-Ornelas, Héctor and Méndez-Carniado, Oscar, Household Catastrophic Health Expenditures: A Comparative Analysis of Twelve Latin American and Caribbean Countries (September 1, 2011). Salud Pública Mex 2011 July, 53 (supl 2): S85-S95. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2046626

Felicia Marie Knaul (Contact Author)

Mexican Health Foundation ( email )

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El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
Mexico, D.F., 14610
Mexico
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HOME PAGE: http://http//www.funsalud.org.mx

Harvard Global Equity Initiative ( email )

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Boston, MA 02115
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(617) 4327938 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k62597&pageid=icb.page268594

Rebeca Wong

University of Maryland - Maryland Population Research Center ( email )

2103 Art and Sociology Building
College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-6395 (Phone)

Héctor Arreola-Ornelas

Fundación Mexicana para la Salud, A.C. ( email )

Periférico sur 4809, El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
México, D.F., 14610
México, 14610

Oscar Méndez-Carniado

Fundación Mexicana para la Salud, A.C. ( email )

Periférico sur 4809, El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
México, D.F., 14610
México, 14610

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