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Do subsidized health programs in Armenia increase utilization among the poor?, Volume 1
Author:Angel-Urdinola, Diego F.; Jain, Shweta; Country:Armenia;
Date Stored:2006/09/26Document Date:2006/09/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Public Sector Expenditure Policy; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Health Systems Development & Reform; Health Economics & Finance; Population Policies
Language:EnglishRegion:Europe and Central Asia
Report Number:WPS4017Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 4017
Volume No:1  

Summary: This article analyzes the extent to which the Basic Benefit Package (BBP), a subsidized health program in Armenia, increases utilization and affordability of outpatient health care among the poor. The authors find that beneficiaries of the BBP pay approximately 45 percent less in fees for doctor visits (and display 36 percent higher outpatient utilization rates) than eligible users not receiving the BBP. However, even among BBP beneficiaries the level of outpatient health care utilization remains low. This occurs because the program mainly provides discounted fees for doctor visits, but fees do not constitute the main financial constraint for users. The authors estimate suggest that other non-fee expenditures, such as prescription medicines, constitute a more significant financial constraint and are not subsidized by the BBP. As a result, outpatient health care remains expensive even for BBP beneficiaries.

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