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J Womens Health. 1998 Aug;7(6):725-37.

Gaps and transitions in health insurance: what are the concerns of women?

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA.


This is a study of women's health insurance that makes both disaggregated and longitudinal comparisons between men and women to identify and describe gaps and sources of insecurity that are important for women. Income and family status are more important than gender in explaining health insurance differences. In many respects, the health insurance experiences of single women are more similar to those of single men than those of married women. Although married women often depend on their husbands for employer-sponsored insurance, the health insurance of married men and women is otherwise quite similar. Married women are at no greater risk of losing employer-sponsored insurance than married men, and married women experience fewer gaps and changes in coverage than single women (and single men). An expansion of coverage to all poor and uninsured adults would benefit more women than men by a small margin, despite the focus of Medicaid on low-income women. The married uninsured are concentrated just above the poverty line and have a big stake in whether public coverage programs extend above poverty. The main issue for women at higher income levels, especially for single women who cannot fall back on a spouse for coverage, is the danger of losing health insurance as a result of changes in employment.

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