The Impact of Health Insurance for Children Under Age 6 in Vietnam: A Regression Discontinuity Approach

Palmer, M., Mitra, S. et al., The impact of health insurance for children under age 6 in Vietnam: A regression discontinuity approach, Social Science & Medicine (2014), Forthcoming

10 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer

University of Melbourne

Sophie Mitra

Fordham University

Daniel Mont

World Bank

Nora Groce

University College London

Date Written: October 20, 2014

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.

Keywords: Children; Health insurance; Health care utilization; Regression discontinuity design; Vietnam

Suggested Citation

Palmer, Michael and Mitra, Sophie and Mont, Daniel and Groce, Nora, The Impact of Health Insurance for Children Under Age 6 in Vietnam: A Regression Discontinuity Approach (October 20, 2014). Palmer, M., Mitra, S. et al., The impact of health insurance for children under age 6 in Vietnam: A regression discontinuity approach, Social Science & Medicine (2014), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2512608

Michael Palmer (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Sophie Mitra

Fordham University ( email )

441 East Fordham road
Bronx, NY 10458
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/mitra

Daniel Mont

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Nora Groce

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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