Title: Paradox of rural health insurance schemes in Tanzania: policy implication

Authors: Pius Chaya; Pius John; Luckness Chaula

Addresses: Department of Rural Development and Regional Planning, Institute of Rural Development Planning, P.O. Box 138, Dodoma, Tanzania ' Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Community Development, Tumaini University, P.O. Box 200, Iringa, Tanzania ' National Health Insurance Fund, P.O. Box 4888, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of the paradox of rural health insurance scheme in Tanzania, taking the case of Manyoni district. The study examined willingness and ability to pay for community health funds (CHFs) among community members as well as the modus operandi of the fund. It employed a cross sectional design on a random sample of 96 heads of households from Kintinku ward. Data were collected through health insurance consumer survey, documentary review and focus group discussions. The results show that sustainability of CHF is questionable since CHF covers less than 10% of the community members not only because of income poverty, but also due to information asymmetry. Thus, CHF remains a paradox and thus calls for health insurance policy review to take note of the ability to pay, willingness to pay and availability of services to the members.

Keywords: rural health insurance; rural communities; willingness to pay; ability to pay; Tanzania; community health funds; healthcare; income poverty; information asymmetry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBHR.2013.057369

International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, 2013 Vol.4 No.2, pp.188 - 203

Received: 07 Mar 2013
Accepted: 30 Jul 2013

Published online: 27 Oct 2013 *

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