Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women often lose their health insurance when divorced

Date:
November 30, 2012
Source:
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
Each year, almost 115,000 women in the U.S. will lose their health insurance in the months following a divorce, finds a new study.

Each year, almost 115,000 women in the U.S. will lose their health insurance in the months following a divorce, finds a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Nearly 65,000 of these women will become uninsured for the long-term. Losing health insurance adds to the financial and emotional stress women frequently experience after a divorce.

Previous research shows that married women have better health, said lead study author Bridget Lavelle, a doctoral candidate in public policy and sociology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

"Having health insurance is one of a range of contributing factors," Lavelle added. "Married people also have higher incomes, more social support and better health behaviors than unmarried people, which also play a role. But the possibility that this specific resource of health insurance may be an important contributing factor has received surprisingly little attention in the body of research that explores why married people really are healthier."

Women often experience fairly substantial losses of economic resources after divorce, more so than their spouses -- so many women get pushed below the poverty line, Lavelle said.

About a quarter of U.S. women below age 65 receive dependent health insurance that may cease after a divorce -- a rate higher than for men.

The study utilized data from 1,442 women in the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Lavelle collaborated with UM colleague and sociology professor Pamela J. Smock to focus attention on this topic they felt was "off-the-radar" in both academic literature and policy.

"This is a very important and path-breaking study," said Deborah Carr, Ph.D. and professor of sociology at Rutgers University. "Researchers have long known that divorce has negative consequences for women's (and men's) physical and mental health, and that women often experience a major drop in household earnings and quality of life following divorce. However, no study until now has documented the far-reaching and persistent effect of divorce on women's health insurance coverage."

Newly-divorced women face a host of challenges, including caring for their children, juggling work and family, and struggling to make ends meet, Carr said.

"If women fail to receive timely and appropriate health checkups, treatments, and care, they are at risk of even more serious health declines and their ability to carry out their roles as worker and parent may also suffer," she said.

Study results may be well-timed. "We hope our work will make policymakers aware that a system with de facto linkage between marital status and health insurance will have unintentional and adverse consequences," Lavelle said.

"Impoverished divorced women whose very low incomes qualify them for Medicaid may have some access to care, but lower middle-class women with modest incomes may not qualify for Medicaid benefits, despite their precarious financial statuses," concluded Carr. "The long-term consequences for their physical and emotional health are potentially dire."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. The original article was written by Stephanie Stephens. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Lavelle, P. J. Smock. Divorce and Women's Risk of Health Insurance Loss. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2012; 53 (4): 413 DOI: 10.1177/0022146512465758

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. "Women often lose their health insurance when divorced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130151130.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. (2012, November 30). Women often lose their health insurance when divorced. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130151130.htm
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. "Women often lose their health insurance when divorced." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130151130.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins