The contribution of India’s National Health Insurance Programme (RSBY) to social inclusion in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh: Country briefing

Briefing papers
May 2014
Nidhi S. Sabharwal, Vinod Kumar Mishra, Ajaya Kumar Naik, Rebecca Holmes and Jessica Hagen-Zanker

The objective of this study is to examine the effects of RSBY in reducing out-of-pocket health expenses for socially excluded households, and more broadly, to examine the indirect effects of the RSBY scheme on other dimensions of household wellbeing, economic productivity, and community and state-society relations. The research was guided by the social exclusion framework, which emphasises the importance of assessing impacts of interventions on multiple dimensions of poverty and the extent to which they tackle drivers of social exclusion and poverty (Babajanian and Hagen-Zanker, 2012). In assessing the effects of RSBY, the study has generated evidence on the context-related economic, social and institutional factors that mediated its impact.

The study used a mixed methods research approach including a quasi-experimental impact evaluation (propensity score matching), which included a treatment group (RSBY smart card holders: those who have and have not used the smart card) and control group (non RSBY smart card holders).

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