An Overview of Health Insurance, and Its Impact on Child Health

Amit Sharma

Student of Economics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Ali K. Ahmed

Student of Economics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India

Anil Kumar Dhaliwal

Professor of Economics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India


In developing countries, the health status of millions of kids is affected by financial problems arising from unexpected out-of-pocket health expenditures. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigates the effects of expanding of health insurance on child health using a panel over the period from 2005 to 2015. After controlling for income, education and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak experienced in the sub-region, it is found that the compulsory as well as the voluntary health insurance schemes significantly increase life expectancy at birth and significantly decrease both the under-five and the neonatal mortality rates. Therefore, it is recommended that public health authorities organize sensitization campaigns to educate the population and create awareness about the benefits of health insurance. They should also reinforce the compulsory health insurance scheme and create incentives for the development of the voluntary one. However, it was found some evidence that health insurance in early childhood has positive effects on future health.



Compulsory health insurance, voluntary health insurance, child health outcomes

To cite this article

Sharma, A., Ahmed, A. K., & Dhaliwal, A. K. (2017). An Overview of Health Insurance, and Its Impact on Child Health, International Journal of  Management, and Social Sciences Review (IJMSSR). Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.58-70. Doi:10.5281/zenodo.2648503



Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



  1. Gazmararian JA, Baker DW, Williams MV, et al. Health literacy among Medicare enrollees in a managed care organization. JAMA. 1999;281:545–51. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Health literacy: report of the Council on Scientific Affairs. Ad Hoc Committee on Health Literacy for the Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association. JAMA. 1999;281:552–7. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Nutbeam D. Health literacy as a public health goal: a challenge for contemporary health education and communication strategies into the 21st century. Health Promot Int. 2000;15:259–67. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Berkman ND, DeWalt DA, Pignone MP, et al. Literacy and Health Outcomes. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center; October 24, 2003. [Google Scholar]
  1. Berkman ND, DeWalt DA, Pignone MP, et al. Literacy and Health Outcomes. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center; January 2004. [Google Scholar]
  1. Selden CR, Zorn M, Ratzan S, Parker RM. Health Literacy. Current Bibliographies in Medicine, no. 2000-1, vol. 2003. Bethesda, Md: National Library of Medicine; 2000. [Google Scholar]
  1. West SL, King V, Carey TS, et al. Systems to Rate the Strength of Scientific Evidence. AHRQ Publication no. 02-E016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2002. [Google Scholar]
  1. Davis TC, Long SW, Jackson RH, et al. Rapid estimate of adult literacy in medicine: a shortened screening instrument. Fam Med. 1993;25:391–5. [Google Scholar]
  1. Parker RM, Baker DW, Williams MV, Nurss JR. The test of functional health literacy in adults: a new instrument for measuring patients’ literacy skills. J Gen Intern Med. 1995;10:537–41. [Google Scholar]
  1. Baker DW, Williams MV, Parker RM, Gazmararian JA, Nurss J. Development of a brief test to measure functional health literacy. Patient Educ Couns. 1999;38:33–42. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Wilkinson GS. Wide Range Achievement Test: Administration Manual. Wilmington, Del: Wide Range, Inc.; 1993. [Google Scholar]
  1. Davis TC, Arnold C, Berkel HJ, Nandy I, Jackson RH, Glass J. Knowledge and attitude on screening mammography among low-literate, low-income women. Cancer. 1996;78:1912–20. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Lindau ST, Tomori C, Lyons T, Langseth L, Bennett CL, Garcia P. The association of health literacy with cervical cancer prevention knowledge and health behaviors in a multiethnic cohort of women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002;186:938–43. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Miller LG, Liu H, Hays RD, et al. Knowledge of antiretroviral regimen dosing and adherence: a longitudinal study. Clin Infect Dis. 2003;36:514–8. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Moon RY, Cheng TL, Patel KM, Baumhaft K, Scheidt PC. Parental literacy level and understanding of medical information. Pediatrics. 1998:102:e25. [Google Scholar]
  1. Spandorfer JM, Karras DJ, Hughes LA, Caputo C. Comprehension of discharge instructions by patients in an urban emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 1995;25:71–4. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. TenHave TR, Van Horn B, Kumanyika S, Askov E, Matthews Y, Adams-Campbell LL. Literacy assessment in a cardiovascular nutrition education setting. Patient Educ Couns. 1997;31:139–50. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Arnold CL, Davis TC, Berkel HJ, Jackson RH, Nandy I, London S. Smoking status, reading level, and knowledge of tobacco effects among low-income pregnant women. Prev Med. 2001;32:313–20. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Williams MV, Baker DW, Parker RM, Nurss JR. Relationship of functional health literacy to patients’ knowledge of their chronic disease. A study of patients with hypertension and diabetes. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:166–72. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Williams MV, Baker DW, Honig EG, Lee TM, Nowlan A. Inadequate literacy is a barrier to asthma knowledge and self-care. Chest. 1998;114:1008–15. [Google Scholar]
  1. Conlin KK, Schumann L. Literacy in the health care system: a study on open heart surgery patients. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2002;14:38–42. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Wilson FL, McLemore R. Patient literacy levels: a consideration when designing patient education programs. Rehabil Nurs. 1997;22:311–7. [Google Scholar]
  1. Gazmararian JA, Parker RM, Baker DW. Reading skills and family planning knowledge and practices in a low-income managed-care population. Obstet Gynecol. 1999;93:239–44. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Kalichman SC, Rompa D. Functional health literacy is associated with health status and health-related knowledge in people living with HIV-AIDS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 2000;25:337–44. [Google Scholar]
  1. Kalichman SC, Benotsch E, Suarez T, Catz S, Miller J, Rompa D. Health literacy and health-related knowledge among persons living with HIV/AIDS. Am J Prev Med. 2000;18:325–31. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Kalichman SC, Rompa D, Cage M. Reliability and validity of self-reported CD4 lymphocyte count and viral load test results in people living with HIV/AIDS. Int J STD AIDS. 2000;11:579–85. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Miller CK, O’Donnell DC, Searight HR, Barbarash RA. The Deaconess Informed Consent Comprehension Test: an assessment tool for clinical research subjects. Pharmacotherapy. 1996;16:872–8. [Google Scholar]
  1. Baker DW, Parker RM, Williams MV, Clark WS, Nurss J. The relationship of patient reading ability to self-reported health and use of health services. Am J Public Health. 1997;87:1027–30. [Google Scholar]
  1. Gordon MM, Hampson R, Capell HA, Madhok R. Illiteracy in rheumatoid arthritis patients as determined by the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) score. Rheumatology. 2002;41:750–4. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Scott TL, Gazmararian JA, Williams MV, Baker DW. Health literacy and preventive health care use among Medicare enrollees in a managed care organization. Med Care. 2002;40:395–404. [CrossRef][ Google Scholar]
  1. Fortenberry JD, McFarlane MM, Hennessy M, et al. Relation of health literacy to gonorrhoea related care. Sex Transm Infect. 2001;77:206–11. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Baker DW, Gazmararian JA, Williams MV, et al. Functional health literacy and the risk of hospital admission among Medicare managed care enrollees. Am J Public Health. 2002;92:1278–83. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Baker DW, Parker RM, Williams MV, Clark WS. Health literacy and the risk of hospital admission. J Gen Intern Med. 1998;13:791–8. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Kalichman SC, Ramachandran B, Catz S. Adherence to combination antiretroviral therapies in HIV patients of low health literacy. J Gen Intern Med. 1999;14:267–73. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Golin CE, Liu H, Hays RD, et al. A prospective study of predictors of adherence to combination antiretroviral medication. J Gen Intern Med. 2002;17:756–65. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  1. Frack SA, Woodruff SI, Candelaria J, Elder JP. Correlates of compliance with measurement protocols in a Latino nutrition-intervention study. Am J Prev Med. 1997;13:131–6. [Google Scholar]