Objectives: To determine the impact of Seguro Popular (SPS) on catastrophic and impoverishing household expenditures and on the financial protection of the Mexican health system.
Material and methods: The propensity score matching (PSM) method was applied to the population affiliated to SPS to determine the program’s attributable effect on health expenditure. This analysis uses the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey (ENIGH) during 2004-2012, conducted by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
Results: It was found that SPS has a significant effect on reducing the likelihood that households will incur impoverishing expenditures. A negative effect on catastrophic expenditures was also found, but it was not statistically significant.
Discussion: This paper shows the effect that SPS, in particular health insurance, has as an instrument of financial protection. Future studies using longer periods of ENIGH data should analyze the persistence of high out-of-pocket expenditure.