The Role of Health Insurance Membership in Health Service Utilisation in Indonesia

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Journal Article

Abstract

In 2014, Indonesia implemented a new, nationwide, subsidised universal-coverage health insurance program, under which poor Indonesians do not pay to become members and others pay a relatively low fee. This program has created a national debate about the effectiveness of the ownership of health insurance in increasing the use of health services—particularly among the poor—given the limitations in their quantity and quality. Using membership data on different health insurance programs from the 2007 rounds of Susenas and Riskesdas, this article researches the impact of having health insurance on health service utilisation, by controlling the levels of quality and quantity of health services in the area. We argue that having health insurance increases health service utilisation by approximately eight percentage points when people feel sick (or by approximately five percentage points if we include those who do not feel sick).

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