Date Thesis Awarded

5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Advisor

Iyabo Obasanjo

Committee Members

Alison Scott

Elyas Bakhtiari

Abstract

India is the most populous country in South Asia with roughly 22% of the population living in poverty. This research focuses on the new health insurance reform scheme instituted by the government of India, Ayushman Bharat, that strives to improve financial access to healthcare for the population living below poverty line. The purpose of the study was to investigate the roll out of the scheme and its effectiveness in two progressive southern states of India, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. To gain an understanding of the scheme’s implementation in the two states, the viewpoints of individuals working in health care fields who engaged with Ayushman Bharat were compiled using qualitative semi-structured interviews. In both states, advantages highlighted were the coverage amount provided by the program to beneficiaries and improved accessibility to receive quality health care for families living in poverty. The drawbacks of the scheme included minimal private hospital participation due to low package rates formulated by the central government and outdated eligibility/exclusion criteria. Possible solutions to improve implementation of the program could be reformulating the package rates to bring in more private hospitals under the scheme and updating the eligibility/exclusion criteria for beneficiaries. While the impact that Ayushman Bharat can have on improving health care performances might not be as distinguishable in Kerala and Tamil Nadu compared to states that are less advanced in health care, these two states serve as important lenses from which to study the ambitious nationwide health reform program. With implementation adjustments to Ayushman Bharat, the scheme has the potential to lead India to improving its health indicators and economic output by reducing poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures.

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