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01.12.2014 | Ausgabe 4/2014

International Journal of Health Economics and Management 4/2014

The effect of social health insurance on prenatal care: the case of Ghana

International Journal of Health Economics and Management > Ausgabe 4/2014
Stephen O. Abrokwah, Christine M. Moser, Edward C. Norton


Many developing countries have introduced social health insurance programs to help address two of the United Nations’ millennium development goals—reducing infant mortality and improving maternal health outcomes. By making modern health care more accessible and affordable, policymakers hope that more women will seek prenatal care and thereby improve health outcomes. This paper studies how Ghana’s social health insurance program affects prenatal care use and out-of-pocket expenditures, using the two-part model to model prenatal care expenditures. We test whether Ghana’s social health insurance improved prenatal care use, reduced out-of-pocket expenditures, and increased the number of prenatal care visits. District-level differences in the timing of implementation provide exogenous variation in access to health insurance, and therefore strong identification. Those with access to social health insurance have a higher probability of receiving care, a higher number of prenatal care visits, and lower out-of-pocket expenditures conditional on spending on care.

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