Health Care Utilization by Elderly in India: Does Family Matter?
William Joe, Delhi University Enclave
This paper unravels the magnitude of horizontal equity in elderly health care utilization in India. The focus on elderly health and living arrangement corresponds well with increasing research and policy attention on family as an effective institution for elderly care. Using, regression-based indirect standardization approach with nationally representative survey data it is observed that family has a significant relative advantage in matters of elderly health and health care utilization. Particularly, spouse has a considerable influence in matters of health care utilization among Indian elderly. Further, it is shown that elderly health care utilisation in India has a pro-rich bias and a positive horizontal inequity index signifies the magnitude of income-related inequalities in health care utilization. The need-standardised utilization is higher among elderly who are financially independent whereas it is much lower among those dependent on grandchildren or other relatives.