The social value of health insurance
Christoph Strupat from the German Development Institute presented the results of the study "The Social Value of Health Insurance: Results from Ghana" at an Innocenti Seminar in May 2019. The study assesses the cushioning effect of Ghana's national health insurance coverage on the financial consequences of health shocks and resulting changes in coping behaviors.
Findings show a strong reduction in medical expenditures, which meant households did not have to reduce non-food consumption. Moreover, evidence shows that the insurance scheme reduced the likelihood that households experiencing a health shock pulled their children out of school in order to put them to work. Avoidance of such a costly coping mechanism is potentially an important part of the social value of formal health insurance.