The influence of insurance status and income on health care use among the nonmetropolitan elderly

Cathy Kassab, A. E. Luloff, Timothy Wayne Kelsey, Stephen M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this research is to examine the influence of income and type of insurance coverage on the use of health services among the nonmetropolitan elderly. A model of health service utilization is used as the foundation for examining this issue with data from a telephone survey of a randomly selected sample of residents from four nonmetropolitan counties in Pennsylvania. Results indicated that those elders with Medicaid coverage were less likely to visit a doctor than respondents with private insurance or Medicare only, even after controlling for income and other relevant factors. Further, lower income respondents with Medicare were less likely to visit the dentist than those with private insurance (Medicare does not cover dental care). In contrast, neither income nor insurance predicted hospital use. As such, the health and dental care needs of many lower income nonmetropolitan elders may potentially be going unmet. In general, findings highlight the continued relevance of economic barriers to the use of such services among the nonmetropolitan elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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