Impact Evaluation of a Public Health Insurance Plan in India | Outline India

Impact Evaluation of a Public Health Insurance Plan in India

University of Chicago

Impact Evaluation of a Public Health Insurance Plan in India




The India Health Insurance Experiment is a 6 year-long randomized control trial on roughly 11,089 enlisted households (HH) in Gulbarga and Mysore districts to evaluate the health and financial benefits of expanding the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) coverage to economically vulnerable populations that are just Above-Poverty-Line (APL) households. Gulbarga and Mysore were chosen as they are economically distinct enough to provide insights that can be applied to the restructuring of RSBY in low-income and middle-income states in India and elsewhere.

Our impact evaluation sought to examine the benefits and costs of expanding a social safety net by measuring the value of subsidizing health insurance premiums, calculating the demand for insurance for the purpose of means-testing premium subsidies, and comparing the benefits of health insurance to cash transfers, to provide recommendations to the government to assist them in their mission of providing health care access for all. 

Outline India collected data on healthcare utilization, health status, consumption and financial behavior through longitudinal surveys of 11,088 households across 2 districts, touching 14 Blocks and 424 villages of Karnataka.

Given, the sensitive nature of the topic, a major component of the study was dedicated to thorough tool review, pre-testing and translation to the local language and dialect to ensure appropriateness and relevance, followed by obtaining all necessary ethical approvals from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to data collection. Outline India also developed training manuals and conducted intensive field training on survey tools and research ethics to ensure data is collected in an accurate and ethical manner. Upon, completion of fieldwork we provided the client with quantitative data collected through the use of technology. In addition, we also submitted an in-depth field report detailing the field movement and data monitoring plan.


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