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Community-Based Health Insurance Schemes


  • Millions of people around the world are driven into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditure. Moreover, there are countries with very weak modern health care systems and without functioning any health insurance schemes. Households in poorer countries generally tend to spend as much as those living in relatively richer countries, but evidently with worse health outcomes. So, in several developing countries community-based health insurance scheme has been proposed as a viable option. Community-based health schemes are alternatives for a cost sharing health care system which also leads to better utilization of health care services, reduce illness related income shocks and eventually lead to a sustainable and fully functioning universal health care system.
    There is a strong evidence that community-based health insurance provides some financial protection by reducing out-of-pocket spending. However, there is weak or no evidence that schemes have an effect on the quality of care or the efficiency with which care is produced. In other words, the schemes serve only a limited section of the population. Without careful planning, each isolated, underfunded, and poorly managed community-based health insurance scheme could produce undesired consequences, and even collapse. These consequences could damage the local society and people might lose their confidence in the idea of prepayment mechanism to improve financial protection against risk due to illness. Therefore, community-based health insurance schemes have to be carefully designed and implemented with a view toward a long-term transitional plan. 

    Community-Based Health Insurance Schemes