Disparities in insurance and access to health care: New evidence from the national health interview survey, 1997-2011
Methods We use data from the 1997-2011 National Health Interview Surveys to monitor disparities among nonelderly adults (18-64 years) in married same-sex relationships (N=614) and unmarried same-sex partnerships (N=4,221). We compared differences in insurance coverage between same-sex couples and different-sex couples over the recent decade and then estimated logistic regression models to evaluate whether being in a self-reported legal marriage improved health insurance coverage or access to health care.
Results Our analysis reveals that disparities in health insurance coverage and access to care have persisted between 1997 and 2011 despite greater recognition and protections for LGBT populations. Married and unmarried men (OR=0.3) and women (OR=0.2) in same-sex relationships were significantly less likely (p<0.05) to have health insurance coverage. Yet, only the adults in unmarried same-sex relationships were more likely to delay needed health care due to cost. Conclusion Our study provides early evidence that being in a married same-sex relationship may not improve access to health insurance, but may influence health care utilization patterns.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Describe disparities in health insurance coverage and health services utilization. Identify nationally representative data to monitor health disparities among the LGBT population.
Keyword(s): Health Care Access, Health Disparities
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student and research assistant at the State Health Access Data Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota where I conduct research on health insurance coverage for same-sex couples.
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.