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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Low rural health insurance take-up in a universal coverage system: perceptions of health insurance among the uninsured in La Guajira, Colombia

TitleLow rural health insurance take-up in a universal coverage system: perceptions of health insurance among the uninsured in La Guajira, Colombia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsButtorff, C, Trujillo, AJ, Ruiz, F, Amaya, JL
JournalInt J Health Plann Manage
Volume30
Pagination98-110
Date PublishedApr-Jun
ISBN Number1099-1751 (Electronic)0749-6753 (Linking)
Accession Number23996284
Keywords*Insurance Coverage, *Medically Uninsured, *Rural Population, *Universal Coverage, Adult, Colombia, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Insurance, Health/*utilization, Male, Middle Aged, rural health care, Surveys and Questionnaires, take-up, universal insurance coverage
Abstract

Despite enacting a universal healthcare system in 1993, many Colombians do not participate. Understanding perceptions of the system could help the government market certain features or adjust benefits in order to increase enrollment. Using La Guajira, Colombia, as a case study, we surveyed uninsured rural households regarding insurance preferences, values and beliefs, and perceptions of available services. Four hundred heads of households responded in La Guajira, Colombia. Respondents reported high levels of long-term uninsurance. Overall, the quality of services in the government-run system is perceived as better than being uninsured, but there appear to be constraints on enrollment. Rural Colombians value more family coverage and better choice of physicians, but offering better benefits may not be enough. Many cited access barriers, so reducing these barriers may also increase enrollment. Further surveys in other parts of Colombia should be undertaken to confirm results.