Low Income Fathers' Access to Health Insurance
Posted: 15 Jun 2007
Date Written: 2007
Objectives. We examined the prevalence and correlates of private, public, and no health insurance among economically disadvantaged fathers, a group at high risk for poor health. Methods. Using a sample of 1,537 low-income fathers from a national birth cohort study, we used multinomial logistic regression analysis to estimate associations between paternal and family characteristics and fathers' insurance status.
Results. 28% of the fathers had private, 14% had public, and 58% had no insurance. Within this economically disadvantaged group, being older, working full-time, having a previous job offering health insurance, and being married increased the likelihood, and being an immigrant and having an incarceration history reduced the likelihood, of having private (vs. no) insurance. Being disabled and being married to or cohabiting with the child's mother increased the likelihood of having public (vs. no) insurance.
Conclusions. Most low-income fathers are employed and living with their child's mother but have no health insurance. Yet, they are expected to support their children. Public policy should focus on increasing access to health insurance among low-income men and ultimately improving the health and productivity of this often overlooked group.
Keywords: fathers, health insurance
JEL Classification: I1, I3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation