Evaluating the RSBY: Lessons from an Experimental Information Campaign

Jishnu Das, Jessica Leino
August 6, 2011 vol xlvi no 32

Launched in 2008, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana provides financial protection from health shocks for poor households. This paper discusses findings from an experimental information and education campaign and household survey carried out in the first year of the programme in Delhi. First, the iec had no impact on enrolment, but households who were part of the household survey sample and therefore received information closer to the enrolment period were 60% more likely to enrol. Second, there is little evidence that the insurance company selectively enrolled healthier households. Instead, hospital claims were lower for households who received the iec and for households who received both the survey and the iec, suggesting that the marginal household enrolled was in fact healthier. Implications for the programme and its evaluation are discussed in the light of these findings.

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