*A new study of health insurance in nine Chinese provinces shows that individual coverage surged within a two-year time frame, from 2004-2006, coinciding with new government interventions designed to improve access to health care. The changes were most dramatic in rural areas.*
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Health care coverage increased dramatically in parts of China between 1997 and 2006, a period when government interventions were implemented to improve access to health care, with particularly striking upswings in rural areas, according to new research by Brown University sociologist Susan E. Short and Hongwei Xu of the University of Michigan. The findings appear in the December issue of Health Affairs.
Led by Xu, a former Brown graduate student, the study analyzed data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, which follows households in nine provinces that are home to more than 40 percent of China’s population. Xu and Short specifically focused on patterns of coverage among rural and urban residents. (more…)