Health financing for universal coverage

Risk Pooling for Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Prepaid revenues for health services can come through various sources such as taxes, compulsory insurance contributions (payroll taxes), voluntary health insurance premiums, and external funding. Pooling may be carried out by a wide variety of public and private agencies such as national Ministries of Health, health insurance funds (public, commercial, or non-commercial), non-governmental or community based organizations.

For the entire population to have equitable access to health services with financial protection, prepaid resources need to be redistributed to individuals with the greatest health needs.

In most rich countries with universal mandatory contributory insurance, the poor are fully subsidized and integrated into the same pool as the non-poor. In low- and middle-income countries, there are often different pools for different population groups with unequal entitlements across schemes. Once such separate schemes are established, they are hard to dismantle or merge.