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Grant Miller: Managerial Incentives in Public Service Delivery

Divorce and women's risk of health insurance loss

Publication Abstract

Lavelle, Bridget, and Pamela Smock. 2012. "Divorce and women's risk of health insurance loss." Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53(4): 413-431.

This article bridges the literatures on the economic consequences of divorce for women with that on marital transitions and health by focusing on women's health insurance. Using a monthly calendar of marital status and health insurance coverage from 1,442 women in the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we examine how women's health insurance changes after divorce. Our estimates suggest that roughly 115,000 American women lose private health insurance annually in the months following divorce and that roughly 65,000 of these women become uninsured. The loss of insurance coverage we observe is not just a short-term disruption. Women's rates of insurance coverage remain depressed for more than two years after divorce. Insurance loss may compound the economic losses women experience after divorce and contribute to as well as compound previously documented health declines following divorce.

DOI:10.1177/0022146512465758 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3511592. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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