In 2007, the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India began rolling out the Aarogyasri health insurance to reduce catastrophic health expenditures in households below the poverty line.
The authors of this working paper analyze the effects of the program. Their results suggest that, within the first year of implementation, Phase I of Aarogyasri significantly reduced out-of-pocket inpatient expenditures and, to a lesser extent, outpatient expenditures; they find no clear effects on catastrophic health expenditures or medical impoverishment. The program is not benefiting scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households as much as the rest of the population, and there are other differences in effect based on attributes of patients, such as literacy levels, that require further study.
This paper has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics.