The Economic Value of the Willingness to Pay for a Community-Based Prepayment Scheme in Rural Cameroon

Identifying key determinants of willingness to pay for community-based health care in rural Cameroon
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This study examines the willingness to pay (WTP) of rural households in Cameroon for a proposed community-based health care prepayment scheme. It states that the limited access to health care in rural areas of Cameroon is often attributed to an inability to pay out-of-pocket costs for health care services. However, a community-based health insurance scheme developed specifically to overcome this barrier has received limited take-up among these households. The study reveals that age, religion, usual means of seeking treatment, profession, and rural households’ involvement in any health policy are key determinants of WTP. Results indicate that:

  • Rural households on average are willing to pay USD 2.15/person/month;
  • There is great demand for a community-based health insurance scheme;
  • Rural poor are willing to pay insurance premiums to protect themselves and their families from economic shocks;
  • Policymakers need to intensify public awareness campaigns in order to better inform the rural poor about community health care prepayment schemes;
  • Policymakers should subsidize premiums for farmers who are often the poorest and are less willing to pay than those who are self employed or working in the private/public sector.