Economic impacts of national health insurance in the Bahamas

The United Nations has a goal of all nations implementing universal health coverage by 2030. As the first step towards that, in 2017, the Bahamas launched the first phase of its National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. In support of this, KPMG commissioned us to assess the long-term economic impacts of providing free primary care to all residents of the Bahamas.

In conjunction with KPMG, we developed an initial framework that mapped out how healthcare reforms might affect the economy through, for example, demographic change, improved labour productivity and reduced precautionary saving by households (now that they had access to free primary care). We constructed a bespoke macroeconomic model to represent these effects and found an overall mild positive benefit to the Bahamian economy: the potential to increase GDP by some 5% by 2040.