Health Insurance Coverage and Its Impact on Maternal Health Care Utilization in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Wenjuan Wang, ICF International
Gheda K. Temsah, ICF International
Lindsay Mallick, ICF International
Empirical evidence on whether health insurance coverage contributes to improved use of maternal health services in low- and middle- income countries remains limited. Using nationally representative data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, we assess levels of health insurance coverage in 30 LMICs and examine the impact of health insurance on maternal healthcare utilization in eight countries spanning sub-Saharan Africa (Burundi, Gabon, Ghana, Namibia, and Rwanda), West Asia (Albania), and South and Southeast Asia (Cambodia and Indonesia). Results from our propensity score matching analysis illustrate significant positive effects of health insurance coverage on at least one measure of maternal healthcare use in seven of the eight countries evaluated. The positive impact of health insurance appeared more consistent on the use of facility-based delivery than antenatal care. Our results illustrate clear evidence that health insurance has contributed to the increased use of maternal healthcare services in a diversity of country contexts.