Health Insurance and Mammography: Would a Medicare buy-in take us to universal screening?

TitleHealth Insurance and Mammography: Would a Medicare buy-in take us to universal screening?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTaylor, Jr., DH, Van Scoyoc, L, Hawley, ST
JournalHealth Services Research
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Medicare/Medicaid/Health Insurance, Women and Minorities

Objective. To determine whether health insurance expansioins via a Medicare buy-in might Plausibly increase mammography screening rates among women aged 50-64.Data Sources. Two waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (1994, 1996).Study Design. A longitudinal study with most explanatory variables measured at the second wave of HRS (1994); receipt of mammography, number of physician visits, and breast self exam (BSE) were measured at the third wave (1996).Data Extraction. Our sample included women aged 50-62 in 1994 who answered the second and third HRS interview (n=4,583).Principal Findings. From 1994 to 199,6, 72.7 percent of women received a mammogram. Being insured increased mammography in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. A simulation of universal insurance coverage in,this age group increased mammography rates only to 75-79 percent from the observed 72.7 percent. When we accounted for potential endogeneity of physician visits and BSE to mammo graphy, physician visits remained a strong predictor of mammography but BSE did not.Conclusion. Even in the presence of universal coverage and very optimistic scenarios regarding the effect of insurance on mammography for, newly insured women, mammography rates would only increase a small amount and gaps in screening would remain. Thus, a Medicare buy-in could be expected to have a small impact on mammography screening rates.

Endnote Keywords

Health Insurance/Mammography/Medicare/Women

Endnote ID


Citation Key6831