Willingness to pay for health insurance among rural and poor persons: field evidence from seven micro health insurance units in India

Health Policy. 2007 Jun;82(1):12-27. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2006.07.011. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


This study, conducted in India in 2005, provides evidence on Willingness to pay (WTP), gathered through a unidirectional (descending) bidding game among 3024 households (HH) in seven locations where micro health insurance units are in operation. Insured persons reported slightly higher WTP values than uninsured. About two-thirds of the sample agreed to pay at least 1%; about half the sample was willing to pay at least 1.35%; 30% was willing to pay about 2.0% of annual HH income as health insurance premium. Nominal WTP correlates positively with income but relative WTP (expressed as percent of HH income) correlates negatively. The correlation between WTP and education is secondary to that of WTP with HH income. Household composition did not affect WTP. However, HHs that experienced a high-cost health event and male respondents reported slightly higher WTP. The observed nominal levels of WTP are higher than has been estimated hitherto.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Insurance, Health*
  • Male
  • Poverty*
  • Rural Population*