Are health care payments in Albania catastrophic? Evidence form ALSMS 2002, 2005 and 2008

Tomini, Sonila and Packard, Truman G. (2011). Are health care payments in Albania catastrophic? Evidence form ALSMS 2002, 2005 and 2008. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Author Tomini, Sonila
    Packard, Truman G.
    Title Are health care payments in Albania catastrophic? Evidence form ALSMS 2002, 2005 and 2008
    Publication Date 2011
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Abstract The absent or poorly functioning risk pooling mechanisms and high amounts of out-of-pocket payments for health care expose households to financial risks associated with major illnesses or accidents. The aim of this paper is to analyse the extent to which out-of-pocket health spending impoverish the households in Albania. The study augments the existing evidence by analysing the dynamics of such payments over different years and the weight that informal payments have in the total out-of-pocket health spending. The data used in this study come from Albania Living Standard Measurement Survey (ALSMS) for 2002, 2005 and 2008. We measure headcount catastrophic payments using different thresholds and the decomposition of indicators by expenditure quintiles to understand better their effects. We find that out-of-pocket and informal payments have increased in real value throughout the years. Even though their catastrophic effect has gone down (due also to declining trends in absolute poverty), the effect for the poorest expenditure quintiles remains high. Out-of-pocket payments deepen the poverty headcount and also enlarge the poverty gap and again the effect is larger for the poorest quintiles. Future policy interventions should provide better protection mechanisms for the poor by providing exemption criteria or subsidised transport and should seek to address the widespread informal payments in the country.
    Keyword Catastrophic payments
    Out-of-pocket payments
    Impoverishment
    Albania lsms
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2011
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    Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 16:59:04 JST