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Data on community-based health insurance enrollment trends in northeast Ethiopia

Cite this dataset

Hussien, Mohammed; Azage, Muluken; Berhanu, Negalign (2022). Data on community-based health insurance enrollment trends in northeast Ethiopia [Dataset]. Dryad.



The term "community-based health insurance" refers to a broad range of nonprofit, prepaid health financing models designed to meet the health financing needs of disadvantaged populations, particularly those in the rural and informal sectors. Due to their voluntary nature, such initiatives suffer from persistently low coverage in low- and middle-income countries. In Ethiopia, the schemes’ membership growth has not been well investigated so far. This study sought to examine the scheme's enrollment trend over a five-year period, and to explore the various challenges that underpin membership growth from the perspectives of various key stakeholders.


Over the course of the study period, enrollment in the scheme at both districts exhibited non-linear trends with both positive and negative growth rates being identified. Overall, the scheme in Tehulederie has a relatively higher population coverage and better membership retention, which could be due to the strong foundation laid by a rigorous public awareness campaign and technical support during the pilot phase. The challenges contributing to the observed level of performance have been summarized under four main themes that include quality of health care, claims reimbursement for insurance holders, governance practices, and community awareness and acceptability. 


The scheme experienced negative growth ratios in both districts, indicating that it is not functionally viable. It will fail to meet its mission unless relevant stakeholders at all levels of government demonstrate political will and commitment to its implementation, as well as advocate for the community. Interventions should target on the highlighted challenges in order to boost membership growth and ensure the scheme’s viability.