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Does government health insurance protect households from out of pocket expenditure and distress financing for caesarean and non-caesarean institutional deliveries in India? Findings from the national family health survey (2019-21)
Authors: Samir Garg, Narayan Tripathi, and Kirtti Kumar Bebarta
Source: BMC Research Notes , Volume 16, Issue 85; DOI:
Topic(s): Pregnancy outcomes
Country: Asia
Published: MAY 2023
Abstract: Objective Institutional deliveries have been promoted in India to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. While the institutional deliveries have increased, they tend to involve large out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) and distress financing for households. In order to protect the families from financial hardship, publicly funded health insurance (PFHI) schemes have been implemented in India. An expanded national health insurance scheme called the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) was launched in 2018. The current study was aimed at evaluating the performance of PFHI in reducing the OOPE and distress financing for the caesarean and non-caesarean institutional deliveries after the launch of PMJAY. This study analysed the nationally representative dataset of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-21. Results Enrollment under PMJAY or other PFHI was not associated with any reduction in out of pocket expenditure or distress financing for caesarean or non-caesarean institutional deliveries across India. Irrespective of the PFHI coverage, the average OOPE in private hospitals was five times larger than public hospitals. Private hospitals showed an excessive rate of using caesarean-section. Utilization of private hospitals was significantly associated with incurring larger OOPE and occurrence of distress financing.