Insurance Status Tied to Higher Self-Perceived Poor/Fair Health

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Underinsured and never insured adults more likely to report poor/fair health.
Underinsured and never insured adults more likely to report poor/fair health.

HealthDay News — Underinsured and never insured adults are more likely than adequately insured adults to report poor/fair health and frequent mental distress (FMD), according to a study published online July 19 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Guixiang Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the correlations of health insurance status with self-perceived poor/fair health and FMD among working-aged adults from 42 states and the District of Columbia.

The researchers found that after adjusting for multiple variables underinsured and never insured adults were 39 and 59 percent more likely to report poor/fair health, respectively, compared with adequately insured adults. Underinsured and never insured adults were also 38 percent more likely to report FMD. Adults with Medicaid/Medicare or other public insurance coverage were 28 and 13 percent more likely to reporter poor/fair health, respectively, and 15 percent more likely to report FMD compared with working-aged adults who have employer-based insurance.

"Increasing insurance coverage and reducing cost barriers to care may improve general and mental health," the authors write.

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