March 30, 2012
The WHO World Health Assembly, and the most recent WHO World Health Report, have called for all health systems to move toward universal coverage. However, low-income countries have made little progress in this respect. We use existing evidence to describe the evolution of community-based health insurance in low-income countries through the three stages of basic model, enhanced model, and nationwide model. We have concluded that community-based health insurance development is a potential strategy to meet the urgent need for health financing in low-income countries. With careful planning and implementation, it is possible to adopt such evolutionary approach to achieve universal coverage by extending tax-based financing/social insurance characteristics to community-based health insurance schemes.