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ROLE OF CANCER HISTORY AND GENDER IN MAJOR HEALTH INSURANCE TRANSITIONS: A LONGITUDINAL NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE STUDY
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    30344360
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6190567
  • Description:
    Purpose –

    To examine associations by gender between cancer history and major health insurance transitions (gains and losses), and relationships between insurance transitions and access to care.

    Methodology –

    Longitudinal 2008–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data pooled yielding 2,223 cancer survivors and 50,692 individuals with no cancer history ages 18–63 years upon survey entry, with gender-specific sub-analyses. Access-to-care implications of insurance loss or gain were compared by cancer history and gender.

    Findings –

    Initially uninsured cancer survivors were significantly more likely to gain insurance coverage than individuals with no cancer history (RR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.08–1.44). Females in particular were significantly more likely to gain insurance (unmarried RR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.06–1.28; married RR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.02–1.16). Significantly higher rates of difficulty accessing needed medical care and prescription medications were reported by those remaining uninsured, those who lost insurance, and women in general. Remaining uninsured, losing insurance, and male gender were associated with lack of a usual source of care.

    Research implications –

    Additional outreach to disadvantaged populations is needed to improve access to affordable insurance and medical care. Future longitudinal studies should assess whether major Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions enacted after the 2008–2013 study period (or those of ACA’s replacement) are addressing these important issues.

    Originality –

    Loss of health insurance coverage can reduce health care access resulting in poor health outcomes. Cancer survivors may be particularly at risk of insurance coverage gaps due to the long-term chronic disease trajectory. This study is novel in exploring associations between cancer history by gender and health insurance transitions, both gains and losses, in a national non-elderly adult sample.

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