Online Program

Influence of health care preferences on insurance enrollment and medical expenditure behaviors

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Steven B. Cohen, PhD, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Rockville, MD
Individual attitudes and opinions may visibly impact upon an individual's decisions on how and when to use health care services and associated decisions with respect to medical expenditures. These health care preferences also serve as important inputs in helping to predict health insurance coverage take-up decisions. This study provides a detailed investigation of the degree of concordance over time in health care attitudes regarding the need and value of health insurance coverage based on national data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Individuals who consistently indicated they were healthy and did not need coverage were substantially less likely to have a medical expense in both years, relative to their counterparts who consistently disagreed with that classification. In addition, adults under the age of 65 who consistently indicated that health insurance was not worth the cost were at nearly three times as likely to be continuously uninsured relative to those who consistently disagreed. The Affordable Care Act was enacted with major provisions to expand health insurance coverage, control health care costs, and improve the health care delivery system. The analyses conducted in this study provide important insights regarding the significant influences exerted by health insurance preferences upon forthcoming coverage enrollment decisions and related interactions with the healthcare system.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess information and perspectives regarding the capacity of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to permit analyses of the U.S. health care system including the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance coverage expansions, health care costs, and health care quality. Identify the statistical and methodological strategies adopted in MEPS to improve the accuracy of resultant health insurance coverage and expenditure estimates. Analyze information and perspectives regarding the capacity of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to permit analyses of the U.S. health care system including continuity in the population’s health insurance experience over time.

Keyword(s): Health Care Reform, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct, conduct and support a wide range of studies related to the cost and financing of healthcare services. Studies include analyses of health care use and expenditures for personal health care services, the sources of payment for health care, the availability and cost of health insurance, and health outcomes. I also lead the Center's design and administration of surveys and development of large data sets to support healthcare policy and behavioral research and analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.