Moral hazard and healthcare utilization: a case study of insured malaria out-patients at Adansi North District, Ashanti Region, Ghana.

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Analyses of health insurance markets over the past several decades have recognized that insurance motivate beneficiaries to consume more health care than they would if they were uninsured. Even though advocates for universal coverage and improved access to care may view this increase in utilization as positive. However, standard economic analysis recommends that this additional consumption could diminish economic welfare. This study adopted Nyman definition of moral hazard (substitution effect) to establish that moral hazard base on the substitution effect is inefficient in malaria treatment; using pure price (substitution) effect of people consuming more health services when its price is low but not the income effect of people consuming more health services because of insurance. The study administered questionnaires to gather information related to the subject matter and purposive sampling technique was used to select insured malaria out-patients at the study area. Specifically, the study used logit regression as the empirical method of estimation. The study revealed that, greater percentage of insured malaria out-patients engage in moral hazard at the study area. It is therefore recommended that, NHIA should strengthen their education programmes and introduce incentives that will discourage multiple usages of services and reward mechanisms for non-frequent visits to health facilities for a specified time period
A thesis submitted to The Department of Economics, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Philosophy Degree in Economics, 2016