Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults: A Cautionary Tale
A 2009 observational study reported that private insurance status is associated with decreased mortality risk compared to no insurance. Employing the same statistical model but with more recent data, we observe a weaker and statistically insignificant relationship. However, Medicaid coverage is associated with increased mortality risk; the adjusted hazard ratio for Medicaid compared to no insurance is 1.32 (95% CI = 1.01, 1.72). These findings bolster concerns about using observational studies to understand the health consequences of insurance.
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- Finkelstein, Amy & McKnight, Robin, 2008. "What did Medicare do? The initial impact of Medicare on mortality and out of pocket medical spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1644-1668, July.
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