Health insurance scheme: main contributor to inequalities in COVID-19 mortality in Colombia

Garzón-Orjuela et al.


To quantify socioeconomic inequalities in COVID-19 mortality in Colombia and to assess the extent to which type of health insurance, comorbidity burden, area of residence, and ethnicity account for such inequalities.


We analyzed data from a retrospective cohort of COVID-19 cases. We estimated the relative and slope indices of inequality (RII and SII) using survival models for all participants and stratified them by age and gender. We calculated the percentage reduction in RII and SII after adjustment for potentially relevant factors.


We identified significant inequalities for the whole cohort and by subgroups (age and gender). Inequalities were higher among younger adults and gradually decreased with age, going from RII of 5.65 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.25, 9.82) in participants younger than 25 years to RII of 1.49 (95% CI = 1.41, 1.58) in those aged 65 years and older. Type of health insurance was the most important factor, accounting for 20% and 59% of the relative and absolute inequalities, respectively.


Significant socioeconomic inequalities exist in COVID-19 mortality in Colombia. Health insurance appears to be the main contributor to those inequalities, posing challenges for the design of public health strategies.

All articles from this supplement are available free of charge and in full text in English in the American Journal of Public Health and Spanish in the Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública.

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