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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Health Insurance on Healthcare Utilization by Migrant Workers in China

by Fei Zhang 1, Xinjie Shi 2,* and Yun Zhou 2
College of Economics and Management, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China, [email protected]
China Academy for Rural Development (CARD), School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1852;
Received: 8 February 2020 / Revised: 3 March 2020 / Accepted: 10 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
Health insurance is an essential instrument to ensure equal access to medical resources and promote the health of the general population. Robust evidence regarding whether migrant workers have benefited from available insurance schemes is limited. Drawing on survey data from the Rural Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) Project, this paper examines the effects of health insurance on migrant workers’ utilization of routine medical services, the medical burden, and the utilization of preventive medical services using a two-part model, the Heckman model, the Tobit model, and a probit model. Our findings indicate that, first, participating in medical insurance increases migrant workers’ probability of visiting a doctor. Unlike other medical insurance programs that positively affect migrant workers’ medical expenditure, the new rural cooperative medical system fails to play an effective role. Second, participation in any medical insurance program effectively reduces migrant workers’ medical burden and can improve the probability of preventive medical service utilization. Third, self-reported health and disease severity are pivotal to determining migrant workers’ medical expenditure. Fourth, high-income people have a good health status and a lower probability of becoming ill and can afford relatively higher medical expenses once they become ill. China’s medical insurance appears to mainly serve to reduce the financial burden for serious illnesses, reflecting important policy implications for policy-makers. View Full-Text
Keywords: medical insurance; healthcare service; migrant workers; China medical insurance; healthcare service; migrant workers; China
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, F.; Shi, X.; Zhou, Y. The Impact of Health Insurance on Healthcare Utilization by Migrant Workers in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1852.

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