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Chile Health Insurance Issues: Old Age and Catastrophic Health Costs (Country Studies)
Past successes are creating new challenges for the Chilean health care system. Chile's population is aging as a result of increasing life expectancy and declining fertility. In Chile, as elsewhere in the world, an older population causes concern about greater use of health services, and the corresponding financial burden. Increasingly, Chile's medical...
Past successes are creating new challenges for the Chilean health care system. Chile's population is aging as a result of increasing life expectancy and declining fertility. In Chile, as elsewhere in the world, an older population causes concern about greater use of health services, and the corresponding financial burden. Increasingly, Chile's medical system is using advanced technologies to provide care for serious health conditions affecting people of all ages. The expansion in access to costly, high-technology services puts additional pressure on health care financiers. This paper contributes to discussions on two related aspects of the future of Chile's health care delivery and financing: the effects of the aging of the population and the increasing demand for catastrophic care. Data from several sources is used in order to address complex questions and draw conclusions regarding the magnitude of the problem facing the Chilean government today and in the near future. In addition, the paper describes and evaluates the programs that have been proposed and implemented to assure access and contain costs, as well as analyze the strengthens and weaknesses of other options for financing catastrophic elderly care. It also discusses possible alternatives for dealing with catastrophic and elderly health care costs.
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