The OECD (The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) mission is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. OECD’s work is based on continued monitoring of events in member countries as well as outside OECD area, and includes regular projections of short and medium-term economic developments. The OECD Secretariat collects and analyses data, after which committees discuss policy regarding this information, the Council makes decisions, and then governments implement recommendations. The OECD Health Datasets offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems.
Health care coverage, through government schemes and private health insurance, provides financial security against unexpected or serious illness. However, the percentage of the population covered by such schemes does not provide a complete indicator of accessibility, since the range of services covered and the degree of cost-sharing applied to those services also affects access to care.
Government/social health insurance series of data refers to the share of the population eligible to health care goods and services that are included in total public health expenditure. Coverage in this sense is independent of the scope of cost-sharing. Most social security arrangements link entitlement to labor force participation and therefore, employment surveys are an important source of data. In these cases, the construction of a coverage index requires a calculation of each group of the labor force (private sector blue and white collars, public sector employees, the self-employed, farmhands, farmers, clergymen), plus the non-active population entitled to
Private health insurance (PHI) comprises insurance schemes financed through private health premiums, i.e., payments that a policyholder agrees to make for coverage under a given insurance policy, where an insurance policy generally consists of a contract that is issued by an insurer to a covered person. Take up of private health insurance is often, but not always, voluntary (it may also be compulsory for employees as part of their working conditions). Premiums are non-income-related, although the purchase of PHI by a specific population group or by the population at large can be subsidized by the government. The pool of financing is not channeled nor administered through the government, even when the insurer is government-owned. Private health insurance includes:
– Employer self-insured health benefits, whereby an employer self-insures health coverage instead of purchasing cover from an insurance company. The employer acts as an insurer in that it assumes insurance risk and is thereby often subject to the same regulatory requirements as other health insurers
– Special schemes for government employees, where the government, in its role as employers, pays part or the whole premiums of private health insurance cover subscribed for its employees
The following schemes were excluded during the preparation of this dataset:
– Travel insurance covering the risk of illness or accidents incurred abroad
– Employers or corporation health programs for their employees that do not imply insurance (for example, direct supply of health services or reimbursement of certain health-related costs)
– Medical savings accounts, health savings accounts or similar schemes which offer pre-payment but do not imply risk sharing or pooling across individuals
– Life and long-term care insurance schemes which include a health element, such as disease specific, lump sum, critical illness, income replacement, cash products, temporary or permanent disability, and long-term care insurance
Breaks in the time-related continuity of data on which the calculated indicators values are based are specified in the content of dataset. There are also specified the cases were the methodology used for data collection was different or if the values are estimated.