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Development of voluntary private health insurance in Nordic countries – An exploratory study on country-specific contextual factors

Tynkkynen, Liina Kaisa; Alexandersen, Nina; Kaarbøe, Oddvar; Anell, Anders LU ; Lehto, Juhani and Vrangbӕk, Karsten (2018) In Health Policy
Abstract

The Nordic countries are healthcare systems with tax-based financing and ambitions for universal access to comprehensive services. This implies that distribution of healthcare resources should be based on individual needs, not on the ability to pay. Despite this ideological orientation, significant expansion in voluntary private health insurance (VPHI) contracts has occurred in recent decades. The development and role of VPHIs are different across the Nordic countries. Complementary VPHI plays a significant role in Denmark and in Finland. Supplementary VPHI is prominent in Norway and Sweden. The aim of this paper is to explore drivers behind the developments of the VPHI markets in the Nordic countries. We analyze the developments in... (More)

The Nordic countries are healthcare systems with tax-based financing and ambitions for universal access to comprehensive services. This implies that distribution of healthcare resources should be based on individual needs, not on the ability to pay. Despite this ideological orientation, significant expansion in voluntary private health insurance (VPHI) contracts has occurred in recent decades. The development and role of VPHIs are different across the Nordic countries. Complementary VPHI plays a significant role in Denmark and in Finland. Supplementary VPHI is prominent in Norway and Sweden. The aim of this paper is to explore drivers behind the developments of the VPHI markets in the Nordic countries. We analyze the developments in terms of the following aspects: the performance of the statutory system (real or perceived), lack of coverage in certain areas of healthcare, governmental interventions or inability to reform the system, policy trends and the general socio-cultural environment, and policy responses to voting behavior or lobbying by certain interest groups. It seems that the early developments in VPHI markets have been an answer to the gaps in the national health systems created by institutional contexts, political decisions, and cultural interpretations on the functioning of the system. However, once the market is created it introduces new dynamics that have less to do with gaps and inflexibilities and more with cultural factors.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Access to care, Healthcare, Nordic countries, Primary care, Private health insurance, Specialized care
in
Health Policy
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044293619
ISSN
0168-8510
DOI
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
543732fe-2928-4640-9807-893229c68a56
date added to LUP
2018-04-09 14:36:22
date last changed
2018-06-10 05:28:03
@article{543732fe-2928-4640-9807-893229c68a56,
  abstract     = {<p>The Nordic countries are healthcare systems with tax-based financing and ambitions for universal access to comprehensive services. This implies that distribution of healthcare resources should be based on individual needs, not on the ability to pay. Despite this ideological orientation, significant expansion in voluntary private health insurance (VPHI) contracts has occurred in recent decades. The development and role of VPHIs are different across the Nordic countries. Complementary VPHI plays a significant role in Denmark and in Finland. Supplementary VPHI is prominent in Norway and Sweden. The aim of this paper is to explore drivers behind the developments of the VPHI markets in the Nordic countries. We analyze the developments in terms of the following aspects: the performance of the statutory system (real or perceived), lack of coverage in certain areas of healthcare, governmental interventions or inability to reform the system, policy trends and the general socio-cultural environment, and policy responses to voting behavior or lobbying by certain interest groups. It seems that the early developments in VPHI markets have been an answer to the gaps in the national health systems created by institutional contexts, political decisions, and cultural interpretations on the functioning of the system. However, once the market is created it introduces new dynamics that have less to do with gaps and inflexibilities and more with cultural factors.</p>},
  author       = {Tynkkynen, Liina Kaisa and Alexandersen, Nina and Kaarbøe, Oddvar and Anell, Anders and Lehto, Juhani and Vrangbӕk, Karsten},
  issn         = {0168-8510},
  keyword      = {Access to care,Healthcare,Nordic countries,Primary care,Private health insurance,Specialized care},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Health Policy},
  title        = {Development of voluntary private health insurance in Nordic countries – An exploratory study on country-specific contextual factors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/},
  year         = {2018},
}