Health Insurance Coverage and its Influence on Medical Tourism Decision in Nigeria
An Empirical Investigation from Nigerian Medical Tourists
This study analyzed the relationship between health insurance coverage (HIC) and medical tourism in Nigeria using quantitative methods. Two hypotheses were tested. Regression models were developed with the dependent variables being decisions to pursue medical care abroad (DTPMCA) and healthcare utilization patterns abroad among medical tourists (HUPAMT). The key independent variable was HIC. For hypothesis one, the results showed a moderately strong correlation (R=0.781) between HIC and DTPMCA but this was not statistically significant (p=0.119, α=0.05). The variation in DTPMCA explained by HIC was 48% (adjusted R-squared). Therefore, there was no evidence to reject the null hypothesis that HIC does not impact decisions to become a medical tourist. For hypothesis two, there was a moderate negative correlation (R=-0.531) between HIC and HUPAMT, implying that higher coverage is associated with lower healthcare utilization abroad. However, this relationship was also not statistically significant (p=0.358, α=0.05). The variation in HUPAMT accounted for by HIC was only 4% (adjusted R-squared). Thus, the null hypothesis could not be rejected, suggesting no evidence that HIC impacts medical tourists' healthcare utilization. The study concluded that despite theoretical mechanisms for how health insurance could influence medical tourism, this empirical study did not find statistically significant relationships between coverage and medical tourism decision-making or healthcare utilization at the standard significance level α=0.05. Further studies with larger samples may provide more conclusive evidence regarding these effects in the Nigerian context.