Health Insurance Status and Psychological Distress among US Adults Aged 18–64 Years

Authors

  • Brian W. Ward,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD, USA
    • Correspondence Brian W. Ward, Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3311 Toledo Road, Room 2330, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.

      E-mail: bwward@cdc.gov

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  • Michael E. Martinez

    1. Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD, USA
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between psychological distress and aspects of health insurance status, including lack of coverage, types of coverage and disruption in coverage, among US adults.

Data from the 2001–2010 National Health Interview Survey were used to conduct analyses representative of the US adult population aged 18–64 years. Multivariate analyses regressed psychological distress on health insurance status while controlling for covariates.

Adults with private or no health insurance coverage had lower levels of psychological distress than those with public/other coverage. Adults who recently (≤1 year) experienced a change in health insurance status had higher levels of distress than those who had not recently experienced a change. An interaction effect indicated that the relationship between recent change in health insurance status and distress was not dependent on whether an adult had private versus public/other coverage. However, for adults who had not experienced a change in status in the past year, the average absolute level of distress is higher among those with no coverage versus private coverage.

Although significant relationships between psychological distress and health insurance status were identified, their strength was modest, with other demographic and health condition covariates also being potential sources of distress. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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