Wealth Status and Health Insurance Enrollment in India: An Empirical Analysis

Preshit Nemdas Ambade, Joe Gerald, Tauhidur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2005, health insurance (HI) coverage in India has significantly increased, largely because of the introduction of government-funded pro-poor insurance programs. As a result, the determinants of HI enrollment and their relative importance may have changed. Using National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 data, collected in 2015–2016, and employing a Probit regression model, we re-examine the determinants of household HI enrollment. Then, using a multinomial logistic regression model, we estimate the relative risk ratio for enrollment in different HI schemes. In comparison to the results on the determinants of HI enrollment using the NFHS data collected in 2005–2006, we find a decrease in the wealth gap in public HI enrollment. Nonetheless, disparities in enrollment remain, with some changes in those patterns. Households with low assets have lower enrollments in private and community-based health insurance (CBHI) programs. Households with a higher number of dependents have a higher likelihood of HI enrollment, especially in rural areas. In rural areas, poor Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households are more likely to be enrolled in public HI than the general Caste households. In urban areas, Muslim households have a lower likelihood of enrollment in any HI. The educational attainment of household heads is positively associated with enrollment in private HI, but it is negatively associated with enrollment in public HI. Since 2005–2006, while HI coverage has improved, disparities across social groups remain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1343
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2023


  • India
  • health inequity
  • health insurance
  • health policy
  • health research
  • population health
  • public policy
  • wealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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