Advancing health coverage of informal workers in three Latin American countries

Pamela Bernales-Baksai, Orielle Solar-Hormazábal

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5 Citations (SciVal)


Advancing universal health coverage (UHC) in Latin America (LA) requires that governments address the inclusion of informal workers, who represent a significant proportion of the working population. Based on case studies and a literature review, this article analyzes health policy reforms of three LA countries and examines their ability to promote the inclusion of informal workers. The analysis focuses on three dimensions: eligibility criteria, benefit packages, and financial protection. The countries analyzed are Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia, each having a different type of welfare regime. These three countries have applied relevant reforms for UHC. Chile has made strenuous efforts to provide a comprehensive benefit package for all, while Uruguay has promoted the extension of health coverage based on principles of citizen rights. Colombia, meanwhile, has significantly expanded the coverage of informal workers, although it still faces challenges in terms of providing them with a comprehensive benefit package. The analysis shows the linkages between eligibility criteria, benefit packages, and financial protection, in such a way that strategies to extend the coverage of informal workers need to be coupled with the harmonization of benefit packages, financial protection, and equal opportunity of access to providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1216
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number6
Early online date2 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • informal work
  • universal health coverage
  • Uruguay
  • welfare regimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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