The Best Laid Plans: Access to the Rajiv Aarogyasri community health insurance scheme of Andhra Pradesh

H. Narasimhan, V. Boddu, P. V. Singh, A. Katyal, S. Bergkvist, M. Rao


This paper is a qualitative assessment of a public health insurance scheme in the state of Andhra Pradesh, south India, called the Rajiv Aarogyasri Community Health Insurance Scheme (or Aarogyasri), using the case-study method. Focusing on inpatient hospital care and especially on surgical treatments leaves the scheme wanting in meeting the health care needs of and addressing the impoverishing health expenditure incurred by the poor, especially those living in rural areas. Though well-intentioned, people from vulnerable sections of society may find the scheme ultimately unhelpful for their needs. Through an in-depth qualitative approach, the paper highlights not just financial difficulties but also the non-financial barriers to accessing health care, despite the existence of a scheme such as Aarogyasri. Narrative evidence from poor households offers powerful insights into why even the most innovative state health insurance schemes may not achieve their goals and systemic corrections needed to address barriers to 
health care.


Health insurance, India, Aarogyasri, Qualitative assessment

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