The world’s rural poor have the highest risks of ill health and the lowest rate of health insurance. The result is that injuries and illnesses – and the resulting loss of income and health care expenditures – often push households into poverty and lead them to sell productive assets. This evaluation will provide the first rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of micro-health insurance on the ability of the rural poor to protect their economic well-being and livelihoods while maintaining access to quality healthcare.
The research will conduct a randomized controlled trial of the GRET/SKY micro-health insurance program in rural Cambodia. The SKY program aims to provide protection from catastrophic health expenses, while at the same time encouraging use of public health facilities that meet quality standards.
The proposed project gives Cambodia, and policymakers around the world, the ability to test a promising method of increasing utilization of health care services and preventing descent into poverty. The SKY program is an element of the Master Plan for Health Insurance, which aims to guarantee the health of the population and protect them from the negative economic consequences of health shocks.