Cumulative Inequality and Racial Disparities in Health: Private Insurance Coverage and Black/White Differences in Functional Limitations

TitleCumulative Inequality and Racial Disparities in Health: Private Insurance Coverage and Black/White Differences in Functional Limitations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKail, BL, Taylor, MG
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume69
Issue5
Pagination798-808
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Income, Insurance
Abstract

Objectives. To test different forms of private insurance coverage as mediators for racial disparities in onset, persistent level, and acceleration of functional limitations among Medicare age-eligible Americans.Method. Data come from 7 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (1996 2008). Onset and progression latent growth models were used to estimate racial differences in onset, level, and growth of functional limitations among a sample of 5,755 people aged 65 and older in 1996. Employer-provided insurance, spousal insurance, and market insurance were next added to the model to test how differences in private insurance mediated the racial gap in physical limitations.Results. In baseline models, African Americans had larger persistent level of limitations over time. Although employer-provided, spousal provided, and market insurances were directly associated with lower persistent levels of limitation, only differences in market insurance accounted for the racial disparities in persistent level of limitations.Discussion. Results suggest private insurance is important for reducing functional limitations, but market insurance is an important mediator of the persistently larger level of limitations observed among African Americans.

URLhttp://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/24/geronb.gbu005.abstract
DOI10.1093/geronb/gbu005
Endnote Keywords

Cumulative inequality/Insurance/Functional limitations/Private insurance

Endnote ID

999999

Citation Key8006
PubMed ID24569001
PubMed Central IDPMC4189650