This paper assesses insurance uptake in three community based health insurance (CBHI) schemes located in rural parts of two of India’s poorest states and offered through women’s self-help groups (SHGs). We examine what drives uptake, the degree of inclusive practices of the schemes, and the influence of health status on enrolment. The most important finding is that a
household’s socio-economic status does not appear to substantially inhibit uptake. In some cases Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) households are more likely to enroll. Second, households with greater financial liabilities find insurance more attractive. Third, access to the national hospital insurance scheme (RSBY) does not dampen CBHI uptake, suggesting that the potentialfor greater development of insurance markets and products beyond existing ones would respond to a need. Fourth, recent episodes of illness and selfassessed health status do not influence uptake. Fifth, insurance coverage is prioritized within households, with the household head, the spouse of the household head and both male and female children of the household head, more likely to be insured as compared to other relatives. Sixth, offering insurance through women’s SHGs appears to mitigate concerns about theinclusiveness and sustainability of CBHI schemes. Given the pan-Indian spread of SHGs, offering insurance through such groups offers the potential to scale-up CBHI.
Community-based health insurance, health microinsurance, enrollment, rural India, self-help groups, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh.
Scientific paper by Somen Saha, Peter Annear, and Swati Pathak on the impact of Self Help Groups on health, especially maternal health
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