Willingness to join and pay for community-based health insurance and associated determinants among urban households of Cameroon: case of Douala and Yaounde

Heliyon. 2021 Mar 18;7(3):e06507. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06507. eCollection 2021 Mar.


Background: The risks associated with direct health spending are high in Cameroon, where almost all household income is spent on health care. Moreover, there is no real social security in Cameroon because of the lack of a universal social protection system.

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the willingness of Cameroonian urban dwellers to subscribe and the amount to pay for voluntary (VCHI) or compulsory community-based health insurance (CCHI).

Methods: A cross-sectional study based on a three-stage stratified cluster random sampling design using a bidding game style based on the contingent valuation approach was performed to in the two largest urban areas of Cameroon (Douala and Yaoundé) evaluate the willingness to pay for the VCHI and CCHI.

Results: The results shown that 46% of respondent were willing to join the CCHI and 41% for VCHI. Furthermore, household income, working sector, chronic disease, health priority, and family size were factors mostly associated (p < 0.001) with the willingness to join CCHI or VCHI. Increase in household income has a positive effect on household's desire for both CCHI and VCHI. While for VCHI, increase of children number resulted in an increment of the premium, contrary to the occurrence of chronic ailment which led in the decrease of the bid.

Conclusions: From the results, it is clear that city dwellers in Cameroon are ready to join and pay for community health insurance. This willingness was related to their financial power which resulted in an average insurance premium of 9.03 USD and 8.17 USD, respectively for CCHI and VCHI. That bid was found to be enough for an implementation of these types of health insurance in Cameroon.

Keywords: Compulsory community-based health; Contingent valuation; Health prepayment scheme; Voluntary community-based health.