The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
Author(s): Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health, Health Economics and Financing Directorate
Primary Language: English
Households in Afghanistan contribute more than 70% of the country’s health care spending. These funds come directly from households through out of pocket (OOP) payments for health care services. Such high costs of medical care can result in catastrophic expenditures where households may be forced to sell their land, sell their agricultural or animal livelihoods, or prevent children from obtaining education due to extra fees). Alternatively, poor households may choose not to seek care to avoid impoverishment, prolonging ill-health. These decisions may lead to further impoverishment for households. Yet, currently there are no risk protection mechanisms for households. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) has the opportunity to protect all Afghans from catastrophic health payments; the opportunity to ensure that all Afghans have access to health care services; and the opportunity to ensure that all Afghans can use health care services. This opportunity is called health insurance. This brief provides policy recommendations for introducing health insurance to Afghanistan.