Low-income women in Indonesia who have health insurance coverage are more likely to deliver their babies in health facilities or with the aid of skilled birth attendants, reducing the risks of maternal mortality, according to a study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.
The study, in the journal BMC Health Services Research, found that poor women who have government-financed health insurance (Jamkesmas), which covers comprehensive maternity benefits, including prenatal care, institutional delivery, and postnatal care, were 19 percent more likely to deliver in a health facility and 17 percent more likely to deliver with a skilled birth attendant compared to poor women without insurance. Higher educational attainment and lower levels of poverty also were associated with a higher likelihood of skilled care, while unemployment, living in households with five or more family members, and living in rural areas were associated with a lower likelihood.
“These findings support the economic theory that health insurance coverage can reduce financial barriers to care and increase service uptake,” the authors said. “As part of the causal chain of events to reduce maternal mortality, health insurance can be a key component that encourages women to deliver their babies at health facilities or with the aid of skilled birth attendants.”
The researchers also called for health-promotion strategies that increase community awareness about pregnancy-related risks and the importance of skilled birth attendants and health facility deliveries.
“Health facilities must be fully equipped, and health providers sufficiently trained, in order to save the life of a woman in the event of an obstetric emergency,” the researchers said.
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