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Med Care Res Rev. 2008 Aug;65(4):450-77. doi: 10.1177/1077558708317759. Epub 2008 May 19.

Continuity of health insurance coverage and perceived health at age 40.

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University of South Carolina.


While a lack of health insurance or interrupted coverage has been shown to lead to poorer health status among preretirement populations, this phenomenon has not been examined among a large population of younger, working-age adults. We analyzed a nationally representative data set of persons born between 1957 and 1961, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979, to examine the links between insurance continuity and self-assessed physical and mental health at age 40. Among respondents turning 40 in 1998 or 2000, 59.8% had been continuously insured during the decade before they reached age 40. In unadjusted analysis, persons who were continuously covered had the highest scores for both physical and mental health. After controlling for respondent characteristics, insurance coverage was not significantly associated with perceived physical or mental health.

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