Awareness and Practice of Health Insurance in an Urban Area of Puducherry – A Community-based Cross-sectional Study

M Srimadhi, Chavada Vijay Kantilal, Johnson Cherian, Kavita Vasudevan



 Background: In India, 64.58% of health-care expenditure is met as out-of-pocket expenditure. In this scenario, health insurance is an alternative mechanism for financing health care. The study was planned to assess the awareness and practice of health insurance among the residents in urban field practice area of our medical college and its association with selected sociodemographic variables. Methodology: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 households using multistage random sampling technique from March 2019 to June 2019. Data were collected from the eligible adults (≥18 years) using pretested semi-structured questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic variables, awareness about health insurance and its practices. The data were analyzed using SPSS software 16.0v. and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Out of 200 respondents, 106 (53%) were aware and 94 (43%) were not aware about health insurance, however, males (n = 49, 80.3%) were significantly (P < 0.001) twice likely to be aware as compared to females (n = 57, 41%). Moreover, significantly majority of subjects (n = 48, 72.7%) who were graduate and above were aware of one or more health insurance scheme compared to a meager (n = 6, 18%) individuals educated up to primary school (P < 0.001). Second, the upper middle and above socioeconomic class (n = 14, 74%) were significantly more aware as compared to lower socioeconomic class (n = 7, 54%) (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Overall, only half of the study respondents were aware of any health insurance scheme and one-fourth were enrolled in any health insurance scheme. The need of the time is to mold the strategies to improve the awareness and enrollment in health insurance schemes among the people in this urban area.

Key words: Awareness, enrolment, health insurance, sociodemographic factors, urban  

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