Willingness to pay for the social health insurance in Iran

  •  Shirin Nosratnejad    
  •  Arash Rashidian    
  •  Mohsen Mehrara    
  •  Ali Akbari Sari    
  •  Ghadir Mahdavi    
  •  Maryam Moeini    


Objective: The substantial level of out-of-pocket expenditure for health care by the population causes policy makers to draw particular attention to the proposal of a social health insurance for uninsured members of the community. Hence, it is essential to gather reliable information about the amount of Willingness To Pay (WTP) for health insurance. We assessed the WTP for health insurance in Iran in order to suggest an affordable social health insurance.

Method: The study sample included 300 household heads in all Iranian provinces. The double bounded dichotomous choice approach was used to elicit the WTP.

Result: The average WTP for social health insurance per person per month was 137 000 Rial (5.5 $US). Household heads with higher levels of education, income and those who worked had more WTP for the health insurance. Besides, the WTP increased in direct proportion to the number of insured members of each household and in inverse proportion to the family size.

Conclusions: From a policy point of view, the WTP value can be used as a premium in a society. An important finding of this study is that although households’ Willingness To Pay is not more than the total insurance premium, households are willing to pay more than the premium they ought to pay for health insurance coverage. That is, total insurance premium is 150 000 Rials and households ought to pay approximately half of this sum. This can afford policy makers the ideal opportunity to provide good insurance coverage for medical services according to the need of society.

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