Does Universal Health Insurance Act as a Driver of Increased Life Expectancy? Evidence from Selected Emerging Economies


  • Sabina Ampon-Wireko Jiangsu University
  • Zhou Lu Lin Jiangsu University
  • Henry Asante Antwi Jiangsu University
  • Ebenezer Wireko Brobbey
  • Arielle Doris Kachie Tetgoum Jiangsu University



universal health insurance, life expectancy, emerging countries, fully modified least squares


Background: The world currently has experienced an unimaginable increase in life expectancy rate (LER).  There are many factors that influence LER, including faith and forgiveness.  However, an ongoing argument among scholars is whether health insurance is partly ascribed to the historical forces that drive the surge in LER among emerging countries.  The study seeks to investigate the long-run effect of universal health insurance on life expectancy rate among 15 selected emerging countries spanning from 2000 to 2015.

Methods: Using the panel unit root, panel cointegration, panel fully modified least squares (FMOLS), and employing the Dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS) as a robust check, the study analyzed connections between the study variables.

Results: The outcome of the results showed that universal health insurance, physician ratio, healthcare expenditure, and educational factors are positive contributors to increase life expectancy, while economic growth remained negatively significant in the selected emerging economies.

Conclusion: This study showed that improved education, increased physician ratio, increasing health expenditures, and universal insurance coverage were correlated with increased life expectancy in emerging economies.  In order to promote healthy lives of its citizens, a move toward universal health insurance coverage is suggested since it increase the life expectancy rate among emerging nations

Author Biographies

Sabina Ampon-Wireko, Jiangsu University

She is currently pursuing PHD in Management Science with research interest in Health Care expenditure, health outcome and economic growth. She has masters in health education and a health tutor at Community Health Nurses Training School-Esiama, Ghana

Zhou Lu Lin, Jiangsu University

Professor of Public Management, Dean of School of Management (Jiangsu University) and Head of Governing Board of Social Health Insurance in Jiangsu Province (PRC). He has 30 years of teaching and research experience and published articles in the field of Social Policy, Public Management and Healthcare Policy Management.

Henry Asante Antwi, Jiangsu University

Holds PhD in Management Science with research interest in International, Management, Public and Healthcare Management. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow of the Institute of Health Insurance and Social Medicine of the Jiangsu University. He has 10 years teaching and research experience in Management Science, Public Policy Management and Healthcare Management.

Ebenezer Wireko Brobbey

Holds a Master’s degree at the University of Cape Coast and currently a tutor at Manso-Amenfi Senior Secondary School in Ghana. He has 5 years research experience in health promotion.

Arielle Doris Kachie Tetgoum, Jiangsu University

A PhD candidate at the Jiangsu University. Her research interest is towards the effects of stress on health Professionals in China.


Deaton A. The great escape: health, wealth, and the origins of inequality: Princeton University Press 2013.

Milteer RM, Ginsburg KR, Mulligan DA. The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bond: Focus on children in poverty. Pediatrics 2012;129(1):e204-e13.

Campbell-Scherer D. Multimorbidity: a challenge for evidence-based medicine: Royal Society of Medicine, 2010.

Knaul FM, Farmer PE, Krakauer EL, et al. Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report. The Lancet 2018;391(10128):1391-454.

Yip W, Hsiao W. China's health care reform: A tentative assessment. China economic review 2009;20(4):613-19.

Jakovljevic M, Arsenijevic J, Pavlova M, et al. Within the triangle of healthcare legacies: comparing the performance of South-Eastern European health systems. Journal of medical economics 2017;20(5):483-92.

Xiong X, Zhang Z, Ren J, et al. Impact of universal medical insurance system on the accessibility of medical service supply and affordability of patients in China. PloS one 2018;13(3):e0193273.

Duku SKO, Nketiah-Amponsah E, Janssens W, et al. Perceptions of healthcare quality in Ghana: Does health insurance status matter? PloS one 2018;13(1):e0190911.

Yang M. Demand for social health insurance: Evidence from the Chinese New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme. China Economic Review 2018;52:126-35.

Wilper AP, Woolhandler S, Lasser KE, et al. Health insurance and mortality in US adults. 2009;99(12):2289-95.

Anderson M, Dobkin C, Gross TJAEJEP. The effect of health insurance coverage on the use of medical services. 2012;4(1):1-27.

Lee-Feldstein A, Feldstein PJ, Buchmueller T, et al. The relationship of HMOs, health insurance, and delivery systems to breast cancer outcomes. 2000;38(7):705-18.

Ekman BJHp, planning. Community-based health insurance in low-income countries: a systematic review of the evidence. 2004;19(5):249-70.

Kilbourne AMJJotNMA. Care without coverage: too little, too late. 2005;97(11):1578.

Burack RC, Gimotty PA, Stengle W, et al. Patterns of use of mammography among inner-city Detroit women: contrasts between a health department, HMO, and private hospital. 1993

Jakovljevic M, Groot W, Souliotis KJFiph. Health care financing and affordability in the emerging global markets. 2016;4:2.

Ahmad R, Hasan JJJEM. Public health expenditure, governance and health outcomes in Malaysia. 2016;50(1):29-40.

Kabir MJTjoDa. Determinants of life expectancy in developing countries. 2008:185-204.

Beltrán-Sánchez H, Soneji SJTpb. A unifying framework for assessing changes in life expectancy associated with changes in mortality: The case of violent deaths. 2011;80(1):38-48.

Dieleman F. Households and housing: Choice and outcomes in the housing market: Routledge 2017.

Ranabhat CL, Atkinson J, Park M-B, et al. The influence of universal health coverage on life expectancy at birth (LEAB) and healthy life expectancy (HALE): a multi-country cross-sectional study. 2018;9

Rancic N, Jakovljevic MMJEEBEJ. Long term health spending alongside population aging in N-11 emerging nations. 2016;2(1):2-26.

Olshansky SJ, Passaro DJ, Hershow RC, et al. A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. New England Journal of Medicine 2005;352(11):1138-45.

Bank W. World development indicators database: World Bank Washington, DC, 2010.

Barro RJ, Lee JWJJode. A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010. 2013;104:184-98.

WHO. Global health expenditure database: World Health Organization Geneva, 2013.

Grossman M. On the concept of health capital and the demand for health. Journal of Political economy 1972;80(2):223-55.

Appiah K, Du J, Poku J. Causal relationship between agricultural production and carbon dioxide emissions in selected emerging economies. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2018;25(25):24764-77.

Pesaran MH, Yamagata TJJoe. Testing slope homogeneity in large panels. 2008;142(1):50-93.

Pesaran MH. A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross‐section dependence. Journal of applied econometrics 2007;22(2):265-312.

Kao CJJoe. Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data. 1999;90(1):1-44.

Pedroni P. Panel cointegration: asymptotic and finite sample properties of pooled time series tests with an application to the PPP hypothesis. Econometric theory 2004;20(3):597-625.

Dumitrescu E-I, Hurlin C. Testing for Granger non-causality in heterogeneous panels. Economic modelling 2012;29(4):1450-60.

Sepehri A, Sarma S, Simpson WJHe. Does non‐profit health insurance reduce financial burden? Evidence from the Vietnam living standards survey panel. 2006;15(6):603-16.

Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU. The relationship of health insurance and mortality: is lack of insurance deadly? Annals of internal medicine 2017;167(6):424-31.

Farag M, NandaKumar A, Wallack S, et al. The income elasticity of health care spending in developing and developed countries. 2012;12(2):145-62.

Ang JB. CO2 emissions, research and technology transfer in China. Ecological Economics 2009;68(10):2658-65.

Brenner MH. Health Benefits of low-cost energy an econometric case study. 2005

Weil DN. Health and economic growth. Handbook of economic growth: Elsevier 2014:623-82.

Gonzalez F, Quast T. Mortality and business cycles by level of development: Evidence from Mexico. Social Science & Medicine 2010;71(12):2066-73.

Hahn RA, Truman BIJIjohs. Education improves public health and promotes health equity. 2015;45(4):657-78.

Morrisroe K, Hudson M, Baron M, et al. Determinants of health-related quality of life in a multinational systemic sclerosis inception cohort. Clinical and experimental rheumatology 2018;36(4):53-60.

Oberg E, Frank EJTjotRCoPoE. Physicians' health practices strongly influence patient health practices. 2009;39(4):290.




How to Cite

Ampon-Wireko, S., Lu Lin, Z., Asante Antwi, H. ., Wireko Brobbey, . E., & Kachie Tetgoum, A. D. . (2020). Does Universal Health Insurance Act as a Driver of Increased Life Expectancy? Evidence from Selected Emerging Economies. Christian Journal for Global Health, 7(2), 52–66.