Effect of Health Insurance on the Use and Provision of Maternal Health Services and Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Resource Type: Journal Article (Systematic Review)
Authors: Alison B. Comfort, Lauren A. Peterson, Laurel E. Hatt
Published: 12/31/2013

Resource Description:

Financial barriers can affect timely access to maternal health services. Health insurance can influence the use and quality of these services and potentially improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the evidence on health insurance and its effects on the use and provision of maternal health services and on maternal and neonatal health outcomes in middle- and low-income countries. Studies were identified through a literature search in key databases and consultation with experts in healthcare financing and maternal health. The available evidence on the quality and health outcomes is inconclusive, given the differences in measurement, contradictory findings, and statistical limitations. Consistent with economic theories, the studies identified a positive relationship between health insurance and the use of maternal health services. However, more rigorous causal methods are needed to identify the extent to which the use of these services increases among the insured. Better measurement of quality and the use of cross-country analyses would solidify the evidence on the impact of insurance on the quality of maternal health services and maternal and neonatal health outcomes.



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