Article révisé par les pairs
|With the low adherence to voluntary mutual health insurance, Senegal’s policymakers have sought to understand the feasibility of compulsory health insurance membership. This study aims to measure the acceptability of mandatory membership in community-based mutual health insurance (CBHI) and to understand its possible administrative modalities. The study consists of a national survey among a representative population sample selected by marginal quotas. The survey was conducted in 2022 over the phone, with a random composition method involving 914 people. The questionnaire measured the socio-economic characteristics of households, their level of acceptability concerning voluntary and compulsory membership, and their level of confidence in CBHIs and the health system. Respondents preferred voluntary (86%) over mandatory (70%) membership of a CBHI. The gap between voluntary and compulsory membership scores was smaller among women (p = 0.040), people under 35 (p = 0.033), and people with no health coverage (p = 0.011). Voluntary or compulsory membership was correlated (p = 0.000) to trust in current CBHIs and health systems. Lack of trust in the CBHI management has been more disadvantageous for acceptance of the mandatory than the voluntary membership. No particular preference emerged as the preferred administrative channel (e.g. death certificate, identity card, etc.) to enforce the mandatory option. The results confirmed the well-known challenges of building universal health coverage based on CBHIs—a poorly appreciated model whose low performance reduces the acceptability of populations to adhere to it, whether voluntary or mandatory. Suppose Senegal persists in its health insurance approach. In that case, it will be essential to strengthen the performance and funding of CBHIs, and to gain population trust to enable a mandatory or more systemic membership.