Impact of educational intervention on willingness-to-pay for health insurance: A study of informal sector workers in urban Bangladesh.
Khan JA., Ahmed S.
BackgroundThe reliance on out-of-pocket payments for health services leads to a catastrophic burden for many households in Bangladesh. The World Health Organization suggests that risk-pooling mechanisms should be used for financing healthcare. Like many low-income countries (LIC), a large share of employment in Bangladesh is in the informal sector (88%). Inclusion of these workers in health insurance is a big challenge. Among other barriers, the "literacy gap" for health insurance" is a reason for the low insurance uptake in Bangladesh. The aim of this study is, therefore, to assess the impact of an educational intervention on willingness-to-pay (WTP) for health insurance among informal sector workers in urban Bangladesh.MethodAn educational intervention on occupational solidarity and health insurance is offered to groups of informal workers. Educational sessions take place once a week (3-4 hours) during three subsequent weeks for each occupational group. For assessing the impact of the educational intervention, WTP for joining health insurance using occupational solidarity between workers in "pre- and post-treatment" periods as well as between "control and treatment" groups were compared. Multiple-regression analysis is applied for predicting WTP by educational intervention, while controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.ResultsThe coefficient of variation (CoV) of the WTP is estimated in control and treatment groups and expected to be lower in the latter. The WTP for health insurance is higher (33.8%) among workers who joined the educational intervention in comparison with those who did not (control group). CoV of WTP is found to be generally lower in post-treatment period and in treatment group compared to pre-treatment period and control group respectively.ConclusionEducational interventions can be used for increasing demand for health insurance scheme using occupational solidarity among informal sector workers.