Journal Article

Impact of Ethiopia's Community Based Health Insurance on Household Economic Welfare

Zelalem Yilma, Anagaw Mebratie, Robert Sparrow, Marleen Dekker, Getnet Alemu and Arjun S. Bedi

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 29, issue suppl_1, pages S164-S173
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI:
Impact of Ethiopia's Community Based Health Insurance on Household Economic Welfare

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  • Economics of Health
  • Economic Development


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In 2011, in an attempt to increase access to health care and reduce household vulnerability to out-of-pocket health expenditure, the Government of Ethiopia launched a Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHI). This paper uses three rounds of household survey data, collected before and after the introduction of the CBHI pilot, to assess the impact of the scheme on household consumption, income, indebtedness, and livestock holdings. We find that enrollment leads to a 5 percentage point—or 13%—decline in the probability of borrowing and is associated with an increase in household income. There is no evidence that enrolling in the scheme affects consumption or livestock holdings. Our results show that the scheme reduces reliance on potentially harmful coping responses such as borrowing. This paper adds to the relatively small body of work that rigorously evaluates the impact of CBHI schemes on economic welfare.

Keywords: I1; O1

Journal Article.  3147 words. 

Subjects: Economics of Health ; Economic Development

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