Determinants of self-rated private health insurance coverage in Jamaica

Bourne, Paul A.; Kerr-Campbell, Maureen D.
June 2010
Health (1949-4998);Jun2010, Vol. 2 Issue 6, p541
Academic Journal
The purpose of the current study was to model the health insurance coverage of Jamaicans; and to identify the determinants, strength and predictive power of the model in order to aid clinicians and other health practitioners in understanding those who have health insurance coverage. This study utilized secondary data taken from the dataset of the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions which was collected between July and October 2002. It was a nationally representative stratified random sample survey of 25,018 respondents, with 50.7% females and 49.3% males. The data was collected by way of a self-administered questionnaire. The non-response rate for the survey was 29.7% with 20.5% not responding to particular questions, 9.0% not participating in the survey and another 0.2% being rejected due to data cleaning. The current research extracted 16,118 people 15 years and older from the survey sample of 25,018 respondents in order to model the determinants of private health insurance coverage in Jamaica. Data were stored, retrieved and analyzed using SPSS for Windows 15.0. A p-value of less than 0.05 was used to establish statistical significance. Descriptive analysis was used to provide baseline information on the sample, and cross-tabulations were used to examine some non-metric variables. Logistic regression was used to identify, determine and establish those factors that influence private health insurance coverage in Jamaica. This study found that approximately 12% of Jamaicans had private health insurance coverage, of which the least health insurance was owned by rural residents (7.5%). Using logistic regression, the findings revealed that twelve variables emerged as statistically significant determinants of health insurance coverage in this sample. These variables are social standing (two wealthiest quintile: OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.23 - 2.30), income (OR = 1.00, 95%CI = 1.00 - 1.00), durable goods (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.12 - 1.19), marital status (married: OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.61 - 2.42), area of residence (Peri-urban: OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.199 - 1.75; urban: OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.40 - 2.40), education (secondary: OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.20 - 2.06; tertiary: OR = 9.03, 95% CI = 6.47 - 12.59), social support (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.53 - 0.76), crowding (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02 - 1.28), psychological conditions (negative affective: OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.94 - 1.00; positive affective: OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.06 - 1.16), number of males in household (OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.77 - 0.93), living arrangements (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.41 - 0.92) and retirement benefits (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.03 - 2.35). This study highlighted the need to address preventative care for the wealthiest, rural residents and the fact that social support is crucial to health care, as well as the fact that medical care costs are borne by the extended family and other social groups in which the individual is (or was) a member, which explains the low demand for health insurance in Jamaica. Private health care in Jamaica is substantially determined by affordability and education rather than illness, and it is a poor measure of the health careseeking behaviour of Jamaicans.


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