The Impact of Parental Enrollment in the National Health Insurance Scheme on Child Health Outcomes and Health Behaviors in Ghana

Gissele Gajate Garrido, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Clement Ahiadeke, University of Ghana

Access and utilization of health services continues to be a main concern in poor countries. Delaying medical treatment can generate serious health consequences. Particularly susceptible are young children. If implemented correctly health insurance systems provide an effective solution to this challenge. The main objective of this paper is to look at the impact of parental participation in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on child health outcomes and intermediate health practices in Ghana. One of the main difficulties in identifying the effect of joining a health insurance scheme is selection bias. The decision to join a health insurance scheme is determined by unobserved factors that could simultaneously impact the health/nutritional level of the child. To estimate the causal impact of enrollment in the NHIS on health care practices we use an instrumental variable approach. The exogenous variation comes from variations in membership rules in the District mutual health insurance schemes.

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Presented in Session 185: Social Change and Population Health