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Community-Based Health Insurance: An Evolutionary Approach to Achieving Universal Coverage in Low-Income Countries

Hong Wang, Nancy Pielemeier


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.