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Med Care. 2002 Nov;40(11):1060-7.

Association between health insurance coverage of office visit and cancer screening among women.

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Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 303411, USA.



Little is known regarding the nuances of insurance benefit design that may affect the receipt of clinical preventive services.


To evaluate whether differences in insurance coverage of physician office visits influences the receipt of cancer screening in women who have full coverage for the screening services.


Cohort study of women enrolled in fee-for-service (FFS) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) health plans, where FFS plans have less generous office visit coverage, for the period 1995 to 1997.


General Motors Corporation's employees and their dependents.


Papanicolaou and mammography rates in women aged 21 to 64 years (n = 139,294) and 52 to 64 years (n = 56,554), respectively.


Compared with FFS plans, enrollees in PPO plans were significantly more likely to obtain a Papanicolaou smear and mammogram (adjusted relative risk [RRa] = 1.22; 95% CI, 1.21-1.24; and RRa, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.15-1.18, respectively). The association was more pronounced among hourly individuals (RRa, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.26-1.29 for Papanicolaou smears; RRa, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.16-1.19 for mammograms) than among salaried individuals (RRa, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.08-1.12 for Papanicolaou smears and RRa, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.06-1.12 for mammograms), corresponding to a greater differential in office visit coverage among the hourly group.


Benefit structure appears to have an important effect on receipt of cancer screening in women. The findings highlight the need to ensure that future reforms of the health care system do not adversely affect the use of preventive services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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