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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 142  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 383-390

The need for better evidence to evaluate the health & economic benefits of India's Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana


1 The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington DC, USA; The Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
2 The University of Chicago Law School, Chicago IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Arindam Nandi
The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy 1400 Eye St NW, Ste 500 Washington DC, 20005

Ramanan Laxminarayan
The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington DC, USA; The Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.169194

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In this review the existing evidence on the impact of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is discussed in the context of international literature available on health insurance. We describe potential pathways through which health insurance can affect health and economic outcomes, discuss evidence from other developing countries, and identify potential biases and inconsistencies in existing studies on RSBY impact. Given the relatively recent introduction of RSBY, lack of quality, verifiable data on utilization patterns, and the absence of reliable evaluation studies, there is a need to exercise caution while assessing the merits of the programme. Considering the enormous potential and cost of the programme, we emphasize the need for a rigorous impact evaluation of RSBY. It will not only help capture the real impact of the scheme, but may also be able to estimate the extent of systemic inefficiencies at the level of the consumer.


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