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Awareness and Willingness to Pay for Health Insurance: An Empirical Study with Reference to Punjab India Dr. Sumninder Kaur Bawa Sr. Lecturer Department of Commerce and Business Management Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab. India Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +91- 9855808866 Miss Ruchita (Corresponding author) Senior Research Fellow Department of Commerce and Business Management Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab. India Email: email@example.com, Phone: +91- 9872802628 Abstract The present study is an effort in the area of health insurance and the peculiar feature of it lies in multidimensions. As firstly, it examines the respondents who are aware or not aware about health insurance as well as various sources of awareness; secondly, those who are aware have subscribed it or not; thirdly, those who have not subscribed what are the reasons behind the same; and last but not least are they willing to join and pay for it? The study was conducted in Punjab and 600 questionnaires were got filled from randomly selected general public, out of which 563 found to be suitable for analysis. The results shown low level of awareness and willingness to join and seven key factors are barrier in subscription of health insurance. Moreover significant association exist between the gender; age; education; occupation; income of respondents with their willingness to pay for health insurance.
Keywords: Awareness, willingness, Association, health insurance and barriers. 1. Introduction Socio-Economic development and health of community are related with each other in such a way that it is impossible to achieve one without other i.e. one cannot be achieved in isolation. No doubt, the economic development in India is gaining momentum over the last few decades because of the government initiatives in public health care facilities, yet its health system is at crossroad today. As these initiatives’ outcome are only moderate by international standards, because India is ranked 118 among 191 WHO members countries on the basis of overall health performance. To a large extent the health indices of a country is determined with reference to the ways with which its health care gets financed. Although, in India the total health care expenditure is increasing steadily, but the mix of public and private spending is a major area of concern (Bhat and Jain, 2006). As the various studies reveal that in India more than 80 percent of health care’s expenditure is borne by individuals i.e. health care financing is mainly in the form of out-of-pocket which gradually pushing them in to a vicious circle of poverty. In such a situation health insurance is a widely recognized and preferable mechanism to finance the health care expenditure of the individuals. The credit for the origination of concept of health insurance goes to Hugh the Elder Chamberlen from the Peter Chamberlen family, who proposed it for the first time in the year 1694. In the late 19th century “accidental insurance” began which operated much like modern “disability insurance”. It was firstly offered by Franklin Health Assurance Co of US, which was founded in 1850. It provides coverage for the accident arising from rail, road and steamboat accident. This payment model continued until the start of 20th century in some jurisdictions (like California), where all laws regulating health insurance actually referred to disability insurance (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance). As far as the stage of development of health insurance in India is concerned, it is in the embryonic stage. As the people of India are not much aware about it and very few part of the population is taking the advantages of it. Moreover those who are aware about it are not actively participating for one reason or another and thereby making it difficult to bring it to the stage of...