Pattern of utilization of health insurance in two districts of South Karnataka

Nagaraj Shet, Ghulam Jeelani Qadiri, Sunita Saldanha, Gayathri Kanalli S., Prajna Sharma


Background: Health insurance is a widely recognized and preferable mechanism to finance the health care expenditure of the individuals. It is an important mechanism in the modern world to save the individuals from the huge health shock but only a small percentage of people even from educated higher income groups are covered under any health insurance policy. This study was undertaken to know the pattern of health insurance utilization in Uttar Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted among 550 household of Uttar Kannada and Udupi districts. Household were selected using multistage sampling technique.

Results: Of the 550 study participants, 348 (63.27%) were aware and also subscribed for any type of the health insurance and of these only 89 (25.57%) utilized them. 190 (34.55%) had availed Rashtriya Swastya Bima Yojana, 42 (7.64%) for Yashasvini, 6 (1.09%) forESI, 12 (2.18%) for Sampoorna Suraksha and 15 (27.27%) had private insurances. Reasons for not availing health insurances other than being unaware were complicated process 85 (42.08%) and provides only partial coverage 49 (24.26%). The main reasons for not using the health insurance were non availability of empaneled hospital 84 (74.34%), disease not being under the scope of scheme 60 (23.17%) and 32 (12.36%) were unaware about the process of availing.

Conclusions: Health insurances being are the best way to help people reduce their financial burden has to be made aware and the drawbacks have to be addressed.


Health insurance, Utilization, Udupi, Uttar Kannada

Full Text:



Park JE. Park textbook of Preventive and Social medicine. 25th ed. Jabalpur: M/s Banarsidas Bhanot; 2019.

Gowda S, Chaitra M, Deepa K. Determinants of health insurance in rural population of South India. Indian J Forensic and Community Med. 2015;2(3):172-5.

Bawa SK, Ruchita. Awareness and willingness to pay for health insurance: an empirical study with reference to Punjab India. Int J Human Social Sci. 2011;1(7):100-8.

Mondal S, Kanjilal B, Peters DH, Lucas H. Catastrophic out-of-pocket payment for health care and its impact on households: experience from West Bengal, India. Future Health Systems: Innovations for equity; 2010: 1-21.

Ghosh M. Awareness and willingness to pay for health insurance: a study of Darjeeling District. IOSR J Human Social Sci. 2013;12(1):41-7.

Gowda S, Manjunath C, Krishna D. Awareness about health insurance in rural population of South India. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2015;2(4):648-50.

Gumber A. Hedging the health of the poor the case for community financing in India. India: Health Nutrition and Population, The World Bank; 2001: 1-32.

Indumathi K, Hajira SI, Gopi A, Subramanian M. Awareness of health insurance in a rural population of Bangalore, India. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2016;5(11):1-6.

Goud BR, Mangeshkar AJ, Soreng S, Prathima, Varghese NM, Deepthi R, et al. Prevalence and factors affecting the utilisation of health insurance among families of rural Karnataka, India. Int J Curr Res Academic Rev. 2014;2(8):132-7.

Reddy KS, Selvaraj S, Rao KD , Chokshi M, Kumar P, Arora V, et al. A critical assessment of the existing health insurance models in India. Public Health Foundation of India; 2011: 26-28.