Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Health Insurance Scheme for the Poor in India: A Critical Appraisal

6 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2011 Last revised: 9 Jun 2011

Alok Kumar


Date Written: March 31, 2011


With increasing burden of chronic diseases in India and the consequent increase in private expenditure on health care, the inability of poor households to meet healthcare cost is leading to increasing impoverishment on account of unanticipated health shocks. In the absence of an adequate and an equitable financing mechanism for financing the rising health care costs, the poor would be largely excluded from accessing and availing of in-patient health care. The National health insurance scheme for the below poverty line families (RSBY) holds promise as a good attempt to bridge this gap. However, despite several excellent features, there are several areas of concern, which if left unchecked have the potential of derailing the scheme. This article takes stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the scheme.

Keywords: Health Insurance, Poor, India, RSBY

JEL Classification: H51, I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Alok, Health Insurance Scheme for the Poor in India: A Critical Appraisal (March 31, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Alok Kumar (Contact Author)

LBSNAA ( email )

Mussorie, Uttarakhand 248179
+91-135-2632236 (Phone)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views