Willingness-to-Pay for Community-Based Health Insurance among Informal Workers in Urban Bangladesh.
Ahmed S., Hoque ME., Sarker AR., Sultana M., Islam Z., Gazi R., Khan JAM.
IntroductionReliance on out-of-pocket payment for healthcare may lead poor households to undertake catastrophic health expenditure, and risk-pooling mechanisms have been recommended to mitigate such burdens for households in Bangladesh. About 88% of the population of Bangladesh depends on work in the informal sector. We aimed to estimate willingness-to-pay (WTP) for CBHI and identify its determinants among three categories of urban informal workers rickshaw-pullers, shopkeepers and restaurant workers.MethodsThe bidding game version of contingent valuation method was used to estimate weekly WTP. In three urban locations 557 workers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire during 2010 and 2011. Multiple-regression analysis was used to predict WTP by demographic and household characteristics, occupation, education level and past illness.ResultsWTP for a CBHI scheme was expressed by 86.7% of informal workers. Weekly average WTP was 22.8 BDT [Bangladeshi Taka; 95% confidence interval (CI) 20.9-24.8] or 0.32 USD and varied significantly across occupational groups (p = 0.000) and locations (p = 0.003). WTP was highest among rickshaw-pullers (28.2 BDT or 0.40 USD; 95% CI: 24.7-31.7), followed by restaurant workers (20.4 BDT 0.29 USD; 95% CI: 17.0-23.8) and shopkeepers (19.2 BDT or 0.27 USD; 95% CI: 16.1-22.4). Multiple regression analysis identified monthly income, occupation, geographical location and educational level as the key determinants of WTP. WTP increased 0.196% with each 1% increase in monthly income, and was 26.9% lower among workers with up to a primary level of education versus those with higher than primary, but less than one year of education.ConclusionInformal workers in urban areas thus are willing to pay for CBHI and socioeconomic differences explain the magnitude of WTP. The policy maker might think introducing community-based model including public-community partnership model for healthcare financing of informal workers. Decision making regarding the implementation of such schemes should consider worker location and occupation.