Increasing the Utilization of Health Insurance for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services among India’s Urban Poor

In 2008, India’s Ministry of Labor and Employment launched the National Health Insurance program, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), to enable poor families to access a range of private health services, including those for family planning and reproductive health. Although insurance coverage is available, poor families’ utilization of RSBY for family planning and reproductive health services is believed to be negligible.

The Evidence Project is conducting a study in Uttar Pradesh to better understand the supply and demand factors affecting the utilization of RSBY for family planning and reproductive health services. The study is very timely, as RSBY was recently launched and the government is eager to increase the number of beneficiaries, their uptake of health services, and the number of private hospitals participating in the program. The study is also important given that RSBY is operating in an expanding urban environment, where there is a rapidly growing need for family planning and reproductive health services among the urban poor.