Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 231–249

Is the Pro-Poor Premium Exemption Policy of Ghana’s NHIS Reducing Disparities Among the Elderly?

  • Vincent Z. Kuuire
  • Eric Y. Tenkorang
  • Andrea Rishworth
  • Isaac Luginaah
  • Alfred E. Yawson

DOI: 10.1007/s11113-016-9420-2

Cite this article as:
Kuuire, V.Z., Tenkorang, E.Y., Rishworth, A. et al. Popul Res Policy Rev (2017) 36: 231. doi:10.1007/s11113-016-9420-2


Under the act that established the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), persons 70 years of age or above are automatically enrolled in the scheme and therefore can access health services free at the point of use. This suggests that the elderly who are unable to afford the premiums of private health insurance can enrol in the NHIS thereby eliminating the possibility of disparities in health insurance coverage. Notwithstanding, few studies have examined health insurance coverage among the elderly in Ghana. The lack of studies on the elderly in Ghana may be due to limited data on this important demographic group. Using data from the Study on Global Ageing and Health and applying logit models, this paper investigates whether the pro-poor exemption policy is eliminating disparities among the elderly aged 70 years and older. The results show that disparities in insurance coverage among the elderly are based on respondents’ socio-economic circumstances, mainly their wealth status. The study underscores the need for eliminating health access disparities among the elderly and suggests that the current premium exemptions alone may not be the solution to eliminating disparities in health insurance coverage among the elderly.


Health policy Health insurance NHIS Ageing Wealth Ghana 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Z. Kuuire
    • 1
  • Eric Y. Tenkorang
    • 2
  • Andrea Rishworth
    • 3
  • Isaac Luginaah
    • 4
  • Alfred E. Yawson
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Geography and PlanningMackintosh-Corry Hall, Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of SociologyMemorial University of Newfoundland and LabradorSt. John’sCanada
  3. 3.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Community HealthSchool of Public Health, University of GhanaAccraGhana

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