J&K Has Second Lowest Coverage Under Health Insurance

Representational Photo

14% Households Across UT Have Just One Member Covered

Srinagar- Government of India’s recently released health report has shown a worrying percentage of health insurance coverage in Jammu and Kashmir, as only 14 percent of households in the region are covered under a registered health insurance, which still remains far from satisfactory.

Despite, the central Government’s flagship Ayuhsman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-Pmjay) which has been an indication of the impact of a bettering health care access in India, J&K has the second worse coverage of households under a health insurance across India, the report revealed.

The latest survey—NFHS-5—which provides data by socio-economic and other background characteristics that remains useful for policy formulation and effective programme implementation, was released by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Vadodara, Gujarat, on May 5.

As per the report, after Andaman & Nicobar where the percentage of “households with at least one member covered by a health insurance” was recorded at 1.8 percent, J&K has the second lowest percentage of such households as only 14 percent households have at least one family member who is covered under a health insurance.

However, besides being the second lowest across India, J&K still lacks behind 27 percent than the national average of such cases, which itself reveals J&K’s drastic hesitancy towards having health insurance.

A superficial look at the data by Kashmir Observer reveals that in NFHS-3 (2005-2006) the percentage of households which had health insurance was 4.9 percent which had come down to 4.3 percent in NFHS-4 (2015-16). However, the percentage turned out better in the latest NFHS survey by more than 9 percent.

As per NFHS, the health insurance coverage in J&K among both men & women was 13.8 percent where rate for men was recorded at 10.9 percent while for women, the rate stood at 2.3 percent.

However, bringing forth the details about the hesitancy towards having health insurance, NFHS noted that 45.5 percent have not acquired the insurance because of the long waiting time. “42.6 percent had not acquired insurance due to poor quality, 40.8 percent ignored it due to lack of nearby facility, 16.4 percent hadn’t witnessed a convenient facility time, 8.9 percent usually don’t use a government health facility.” the report noted

Among the indicators released for the erstwhile state of J&K, several were based on education, educational freedom, economic contribution, economic freedom, household management and decision-making, perceived status within the household, and health that have always maintained an influence on the status of women in J&K.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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