Insurance coverage and health care use among near-elderly women.

TitleInsurance coverage and health care use among near-elderly women.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsXu, X, Patel, DA, Vahratian, A, Ransom, SB
JournalWomens Health Issues
Date Published2006 May-Jun
ISSN Number1049-3867
KeywordsAttitude to Health, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Health Services Needs and Demand, Health Status, Humans, Insurance Coverage, Insurance, Health, Medically Uninsured, Middle Aged, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Socioeconomic factors, United States, Women's Health, Women's Health Services

OBJECTIVES: Data on near-elderly (ages 55-64) women's access to and use of health care have been limited. In this study, we sought to examine the status of near-elderly women's health insurance coverage in the United States and how it may influence their use of health care services.

METHODS: A nationwide random sample of women aged 55-64 was drawn from the 2002 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. Descriptive statistics were calculated and multivariable regression analyses were performed to quantify the impact of insurance coverage on near-elderly women's use of outpatient services, inpatient services, and prescription medication over a 2-year period.

RESULTS: In 2002, 9.4% of near-elderly women in the United States were uninsured and 15.4% had public coverage. Those who had coverage for a particular service were significantly more likely to use that service compared to women without coverage, with odds ratios ranging from 2.0-6.7 for services such as a physician visit, hospital stay, dental visit, and use of prescription medication. Among those who had at least one physician visit, near-elderly women who had some of the cost covered by insurance reported significantly more visits than women without coverage. Likewise, for near-elderly women regularly taking prescription medications, having more extensive coverage significantly increased their likelihood of medication adherence. The frequency of hospitalization was also higher for women who had complete coverage for the cost.

CONCLUSIONS: The nature of a near-elderly woman's insurance coverage significantly affects her use of health care services. More attention is needed to improve the health care of near-elderly women with inadequate insurance coverage.


Official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Health Care Utilization/womens health/Health Insurance Coverage/WOMEN

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalWomens Health Issues
Citation Key7089
PubMed ID16765290
Grant ListK12 HD01438-04 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States