the absence of Universal health coverage (UHC) all people and communities
cannot use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative
health services they need and use of these services expose the user to
financial hardship. Protecting the families from the financial consequences of
paying for health services out of their pocket reduces the risk of them being
pushed into poverty because unexpected illness requires them to use up their savings,
sell assets or borrow from others destroying their livelihood and often those
of their children.
28 crore individuals have some form of health insurance in India as of 2014-15
which is 22% of total population of India, of which 73% were under public
insurance companies. Over 60% of the health care expenditure was on medicines
both in rural and urban India in 2011-12.1 Average of INR 5636 was
spent on hospitalization in public hospitals while INR 21726 was spent in
private hospitals.2 Various types of health insurances that are
available in India include Central Government HI, Social HI, Community Based HI
and Private HI. Health Insurance coverage in costal Karnataka was 57%3.
Recently Karnataka government approved a universal health coverage scheme in a
effort to increase the health insurance coverage.4 Study conducted
in neighboring district (Mysore) shows a health insurance coverage of 41%.5
No published literature could be found regarding HI coverage and health
expenditure in the study area. Hence this study was undertaken to assess the
health insurance coverage among people of rural field practice area of Mandya
Institute of Medical Sciences, Mandya and to describe the out of pocket
expenditure (OOP) pattern in the study population.