Health insurance education strategies for increasing the insured among older population – a quasi experimental study in rural Kenya

  • Josephat Nyagero
  • Roslyn Gakure
  • Magaret Keraka


Introduction: The older population in most developing countries are uninsured and lack access to health services. This study assessed the extent to which a multi-strategy health insurance education intervention would increase the number of insured among the older population in rural Kenya. Methods: The quasi-experimental study prospectively followed 1,104 unpaired older persons (60 years or more) in a 10-month health insurance education and enrolment intervention. The adjusted odds ratios computed at 95% confidence interval using a binary logistic regression tested the association between being insured and the multi-strategies. Results: At baseline, the lack of adequate knowledge on health insurance (52.9%) and high premiums (38.1%) were the main reasons for being uninsured. The insured older persons increased three-fold (from 7.7% to 23.8%) in the experimental site but remained almost unchanged (from 4.0% to 4.6%) in the control. The computed adjusted odds ratio for variables with significance (p<0.05) show that the older people who obtained health insurance education through the chief’s public meeting, an adult daughter, an adult son, a relative - sister/brother, an agent of the National Hospital Insurance Fund, and a health insurance beneficiary were 2.6, 4.2, 2.8, 2.3, 2.5 and 2.5 times respectively more likely to be insured. Access to health insurance education using a combination of 1-3 strategies and >3 strategies predisposed the older people 14.3 times and 52.2 times respectively to being insured. Conclusion: Health insurance education through multiple strategies and their intensity and frequency were pivotal in increasing being insured among the older population in rural Kenya.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:9

Author Biographies

Josephat Nyagero
Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID), of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Roslyn Gakure
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi Town Campus, Kenya
Magaret Keraka
Department of Public Health, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688