Promoting universal financial protection: a policy analysis of universal health coverage in Costa Rica (1940-2000)

by Juan Rafael Vargas and Jorine Muiser
Health Research Policy and Systems 2013, 11:28 (21 August 2013)

9 pp. 1.0 MB:
http://www.health-policy-systems.com/content/pdf/1478-4505-11-28.pdf

This paper explores the implementation and sustenance of universal health coverage (UHC) in Costa Rica, discussing the development of a social security scheme that covered 5% of the population in 1940, to one that finances and provides comprehensive healthcare to the whole population today. The scheme is financed by mandatory, tri-partite social insurance contributions complemented by tax funding to cover the poor. UHC has been achieved in Costa Rica because it was supported at the highest political level within a favourable socio-economic and political context. Once achieved, UHC became an entitlement for the population and now enjoys broad public support.

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