Out of pocket payments and social health insurance for private hospital care: Evidence from Greece

Nikolaos Grigorakis, Christos Floros, Haritini Tsangari, Evangelos Tsoukatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Greek state has reduced their funding on health as part of broader efforts to limit the large fiscal deficits and rising debt ratios to GDP. Benefits cuts and limitations of Social Health Insurance (SHI) reimbursements result in substantial Out of Pocket (OOP) payments in the Greek population. In this paper, we examine social health insurance's risk pooling mechanisms and the catastrophic impact that OOP payments may have on insured's income and well-being. Using data collected from a cross sectional survey in Greece, we find that the OOP payments for inpatient care in private hospitals have a positive relationship with SHI funding. Moreover, we show that the SHI funding is inadequate to total inpatient financing. We argue that the Greek health policy makers have to give serious consideration to the perspective of a SHI system which should be supplemented by the Private Health Insurance (PHI) sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-959
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Policy
Volume120
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Financial catastrophe
  • Greece
  • Health shock
  • Informal payments
  • OOP payments
  • SHI

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