Title

The impact of demographic and perceptual variables on a young adult's decision to be covered by private health insurance

Authors

Authors

J. Cantiello; M. D. Fottler; D. Oetjen;N. J. Zhang

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

BMC Health Serv. Res.

Keywords

Health insurance coverage; Young adults; NONGROUP; COST; Health Care Sciences & Services

Abstract

Background: The large number of uninsured individuals in the United States creates negative consequences for those who are uninsured and for those who are covered by health insurance plans. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are the largest uninsured population subgroup. This subgroup warrants analysis. The major aim of this study is to determine why young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are the largest uninsured population subgroup. Methods: The present study seeks to determine why young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are the largest population subgroup that is not covered by private health insurance. Data on perceived health status, perceived need, perceived value, socioeconomic status, gender, and race was obtained from a national sample of 1,340 young adults from the 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and examined for possible explanatory variables, as well as data on the same variables from a national sample of 1,463 from the 2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Results: Results of the structural equation model analysis indicate that insurance coverage in the 2005 sample was largely a function of higher socioeconomic status and being a non-minority. Perceived health status, perceived need, perceived value, and gender were not significant predictors of private health insurance coverage in the 2005 sample. However, in the 2008 sample, these indicators changed. Socioeconomic status, minority status, perceived health, perceived need, and perceived value were significant predictors of private health insurance coverage. Conclusions: The results of this study show that coverage by a private health insurance plan in the 2005 sample was largely a matter of having a higher socioeconomic status and having a non-minority status. In 2008 each of the attitudinal variables (perceived health, perceived value, and perceived need) predicted whether subjects carried private insurance. Our findings suggest that among those sampled, the young adult subgroup between the ages of 18 and 24 does not necessarily represent a unique segment of the population, with behaviors differing from the rest of the sample.

Journal Title

Bmc Health Services Research

Volume

15

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

15

WOS Identifier

WOS:000354844000001

ISSN

1472-6963

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