Department of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
Institutional Affiliation: University of Warwick
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2019||The Challenges of Universal Health Insurance in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Large-scale Randomized Experiment in Indonesia|
with Abhijit Banerjee, Amy Finkelstein, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken, Sudarno Sumarto: w26204
To assess ways to achieve widespread health insurance coverage with financial solvency in developing countries, we designed a randomized experiment involving almost 6,000 households in Indonesia who are subject to a nationally mandated government health insurance program. We assessed several interventions that simple theory and prior evidence suggest could increase coverage and reduce adverse selection: substantial temporary price subsidies (which had to be activated within a limited time window and lasted for only a year), assisted registration, and information. Both temporary subsidies and assisted registration increased initial enrollment. Temporary subsidies attracted lower-cost enrollees, in part by eliminating the practice observed in the no subsidy group of strategically timing cove...