National Health Insurance and Health Inequality in Taiwan
Jui-Chung Allen Li, Academia Sinica
Yu-han Jao, National Taiwan University
Health care reform is under heated debate in the United States. Although prior research shows that having public health insurance improves individual health (e.g., Quesnel-Vallée 2004), not everyone is convinced that a universal insurance coverage will improve population health and reduce health inequality. The National Health Insurance of Taiwan implemented in 1995 that provides a universal coverage to all citizens provides a natural experiment to address this issue. Using eight waves (from 1990 to 2005) of repeated cross-sectional data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey and an identifiable age-period-cohort model with a linear spline specification, we find that the National Health Insurance improves population health and especially health of those with low education, which thus reduces health inequality by education.
Presented in Session 125: Health Insurance and Health Care Utilization