Original Research

A quasi-experimental study on health insurance coverage and health services in Nigeria

Shailender Singh, Meenakshi Kaul, Muhammad M. Bala, Chitra Krishnan, Chandrashekhar J. Rawandale
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 16, No 1 | a4056 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v16i1.4056 | © 2024 Shailender Singh, Meenakshi Kaul, Muhammad M. Bala, Chitra Krishnan, Chandrashekhar J. Rawandale | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2023 | Published: 21 January 2024

About the author(s)

Shailender Singh, Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Noida, India
Meenakshi Kaul, Symbiosis Law School, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune, India
Muhammad M. Bala, Department of Economics, School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, SRM University-AP, Amaravati, India
Chitra Krishnan, Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Noida, India
Chandrashekhar J. Rawandale, Symbiosis Law School, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune, India

Abstract

Background: Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate among sub-Saharan African countries. Recently, universal health insurance coverage has been embraced as a means to enhance population health in low- and middle-income countries. Hitherto, the effect of health insurance coverage on the utilisation of facility-level delivery is largely unknown in the face of the earnest need to lower maternal mortality rates in developing countries.

Aim: To empirically investigate the association of health insurance coverage on health services utilisation of facility-level delivery and the extent to which public- and private-sector facility delivery in Nigeria had a disproportionate associational effect with health insurance coverage, in the universal health coverage era.

Setting: A cross-sectional study conducted for Nigeria.

Methods: This study employed a quasi-experimental method using propensity scores along with different matching methods that were applied to the most recent wave of Nigeria’s Demographic and Health Survey (2020) data.

Results: Evidence suggests that childbearing mothers from insured households had an average of 25% probability of utilising facility-level delivery relative to mothers from uninsured households in the year that preceded the survey. Moreover, private-sector facility delivery had a 31% higher associational effect with health insurance coverage than public-sector facility delivery, which had an estimated probability of 21%.

Conclusion: Expansion of health insurance coverage in Nigeria will be a desirable way to stimulate the utilisation of facility-level delivery by women of childbearing age. Consequently, coverage expansion has the potential to save many maternal and newborn lives in Nigeria.

Contribution: This study has contributed to the urgent attention of the federal government of Nigeria to monitor and revamp the health insurance coverage policies of the country for better facilitation of health services to the Nigerian population.


Keywords

health insurance coverage; care utilisation; facility delivery; public facilities; private facilities.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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