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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

VIACAVA, Francisco; SOUZA-JUNIOR, Paulo Roberto Borges de  and  SZWARCWALD, Célia Landmann. Coverage of the Brazilian population 18 years and older by private health plans: an analysis of data from the World Health Survey. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, suppl.1, pp. S119-S128. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000700013.

This study analyzes data from the World Health Survey (WHS) conducted in 2003, with a sample of 5,000 individuals 18 years and older. Some 24.0% of the interviewees had private health insurance, and the main variables associated with private coverage were number of household assets, age, level of education, formal employment, living in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, and good self-rated health. The socioeconomic profiles of needs for and use of health services in the population covered by private health plans are different, confirming the findings of other studies reporting that this population segment as a whole presents better health conditions and greater use of services as compared to the population without private coverage, even after adjusting for socio-demographic variables and self-rated health. The WHS data also suggest that individuals with private health plans do not always use their insurance to pay for services, except in the case of mammograms.

Keywords : Health Insurance; Health Services; Health Status.

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