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Private Health Insurance
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    • Open access
  • Edited by Sarah Thomson, WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, Anna Sagan, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Elias Mossialos, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Assisted by Jonathan North, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Book description

Can private health insurance fill gaps in publicly financed coverage? Does it enhance access to health care or improve efficiency in health service delivery? Will it provide fiscal relief for governments struggling to raise public revenue for health? This book examines the successes, failures and challenges of private health insurance globally through country case studies written by leading national experts. Each case study considers the role of history and politics in shaping private health insurance and determining its impact on health system performance. Despite great diversity in the size and functioning of markets for private health insurance, the book identifies clear patterns across countries, drawing out valuable lessons for policymakers while showing how history and politics have proved a persistent barrier to effective public policy. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


'This book makes a huge contribution to our understanding of private health insurance and its roles. It provides clarity about the different forms it can take and different terminology. The country studies give insight into how private insurance performs in practice. The book brings together some of the best researchers in healthcare finance who have excellent understanding of different systems, their successes and failures. While the book will be very useful for students and researchers, the analysis is of particular interest for governments and policy makers – it provides a dispassionate review of private health insurance and may help to prevent mistakes from being repeated.'

Charles Normand - Professor of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin and Professor of the Economics of Palliative Care and Rehabillitation, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London

'This book is an extraordinary resource for individuals eager to understand the varied roles of private health insurance around the world. The permutations of private insurance are numerous, with each country developing a unique system to serve alongside publicly-funded coverage. The editors and authors provide an informative guided tour, clearly explaining current practices and problems; and also offering thoughtful suggestions on how to anticipate and minimize the potential downsides of private insurance on the long road to more equitable and efficient health care financing.'

Jim G. Kahn - University of California San Francisco

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Full book PDF
  • Private Health Insurance
    pp i-i
  • European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • Private Health Insurance History, Politics and Performance - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-viii
  • Figures
    pp ix-x
  • Tables
    pp xi-xii
  • Boxes
    pp xiii-xiii
  • Acknowledgements
    pp xiv-xiv
  • Contributors
    pp xv-xviii
  • 7 - Uncovering the complex role of private health insurance in Ireland
    pp 221-263
  • 10 - The role of private health insurance in financing health care in Kenya
    pp 325-348
  • 11 - Private health insurance in the Netherlands
    pp 349-376
  • Index
    pp 552-574


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