Health Care Services Utilization and Health Insurance Coverage: Evidence from Argentina

Fabio Bertranou


This study is the first comprehensive analysis of the relationship between health care services utilization and health insurance coverage for Argentina. Using data from a 1989 household survey, a two equation model is estimated in order to account for the selection bias in health insurance markets and the stochastic dependence between health insurance and utilization. The evidence found, using data on visits to outpatient health care services, is consistent with conventional theory and studies for the other countries. Health insurance coverage positively affects health care utilization. The most important factors determining the intensity of health care services utilization are morbidity conditions. Health insurance coverage is strongly affected by factors related to the labor market; income appears to have an important effect only on the health insurance equation.

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