Knižnica: Private Health Insurance in OECD Countries: The Benefits and Costs for Individuals and Health Systems

While private health insurance (PHI) represents, on average, only a small share of total health funding across the OECD area, it plays a significant role in health financing in some OECD countries and it covers at least 30% of the population in a third of the OECD members. This paper assesses evidence on the effects of PHI in different national contexts and draws conclusions about its strengths and weaknesses. For example, in countries where PHI plays a prominent role, it can be credited with having injected resources into health systems, added to consumer choice, and helped make the systems more responsive. However, it has also given rise to considerable equity challenges in many cases and has added to health care expenditure (total, and in some cases, public) in most of those same countries. Policy-makers will need to intervene to address market failures in order to assure PHI access for high-risk groups.

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