Health Insurance Education Strategies for Increasing the Insured among Older Population – A Quasi Experimental Study in Rural Kenya
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INTRODUCTION: The older population in most developing countries are uninsured and lack access to health services. This study assessed the extent to which a multi-strategy health insurance education intervention would increase the number of insured among the older population in rural Kenya. METHODS: The quasi-experimental study prospectively followed 1,104 unpaired older persons (60 years or more) in a 10-month health insurance education and enrollment intervention. The adjusted odds ratios computed at 95% confidence interval using a binary logistic regression tested the association between being insured and the multi-strategies. RESULTS: At baseline, the lack of adequate knowledge on health insurance (52.9%) and high premiums (38.1%) were the main reasons for being uninsured. The insured older persons increased three-fold (from 7.7% to 23.8%) in the experimental site but remained almost unchanged (from 4.0% to 4.6%) in the control. The computed adjusted odds ratio for variables with significance (p < 0.05) show that the older people who obtained health insurance education through the chief's public meeting, an adult daughter, an adult son, a relative-sister/brother, an agent of the National Hospital Insurance Fund, and a health insurance beneficiary were 2.6, 4.2, 2.8, 2.3, 2.5 and 2.5 times respectively more likely to be insured. Access to health insurance education using a combination of 1-3 strategies and >3 strategies predisposed the older people 14.3 times and 52.2 times respectively to being insured. CONCLUSION: Health insurance education through multiple strategies and their intensity and frequency were pivotal in increasing being insured among the older population in rural Kenya.