Does Integrated Health Insurance System Alleviate Difficulty Using Interregional Health Care for Migrant Parents in China – Evidence from Dynamic China Migrant Survey
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BMC Health Serv Res. October 5, 2021; 21 (1): 1053. doi: 10.1186 / s12913-021-07069-w.
BACKGROUND: Many internal migrants during the process of urbanization in China are migrant parents, the aging group who move to urban areas to unwittingly support their families. They are more vulnerable economically and physically than young migrants. However, the fragmentation of rural and urban health insurance schemes divided by the “hukou” household registration system limits migrants’ access to health services in their place of residence. Some counties started to consolidate Basic Medical Insurance for Urban Residents (URBMI) and the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS) into one Integrated Medical Insurance Scheme (IMIS) from 2008. Consolidation aimed to reduce disparities between different regimes and increase the use of health care by migrants.
RESULTS: Using the sample of hospitalized migrant parents from the China Dynamic Migrant Survey 2015, we used ordinary least squares (OLS) for the regression models. We found that migrant parents covered by IMIS are more likely to choose inpatient services and seek medical treatment in the migrants’ destination. We further subdivide the non-IMIS into NCMS and URBMI in the regression to remove any doubt about the endogenous. The results revealed that migrant parents in SIG use more local medical services than both in URBMI and NCMS.
CONCLUSIONS: The potential mechanisms of our results could be that GIS alleviates the difficulty of seeking medical care in migrants’ destinations by improving the convenience of reimbursing medical expenses and improving health insurance benefits.