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Married with Health Insurance Coverage

Tue Sep 16 2014
By Brett O’Hara and Jennifer Cheeseman Day
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Married adults under age 65 were more likely to have health insurance coverage than people who were never married or were divorced, separated or widowed. Today, the Census Bureau released new health insurance coverage estimates for 2013 that may provide some insight. In addition to estimates of the number of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2013 calendar year, the Census Bureau also presents estimates of types of coverage for those who had health insurance, whether private or government-provided.

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Looking at these statistics, we find that the relationship between marital status and health insurance coverage may differ for men and women (Figure1). Both married men and married women have the lowest uninsured rates. For those who were never married, men had higher uninsured rates than women. In fact, the uninsured rate for never-married men was 6 percentage points higher than the rate for never-married women (at 27.4 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively). Even for those never married who had health insurance coverage, the rates for both private or government provided were lower for men than for women.

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A person’s marital status can change over time, and in instances such as separation or divorce, losing health insurance coverage can be a hardship. For people who were separated, the rate of private coverage was lower than for people who were married, and separated men had a higher rate of private coverage than women. In contrast, government-provided health coverage among people who were separated was higher for women than men.

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Among people who were divorced, private health insurance coverage rates did not differ between men and women, and both were higher than for their counterparts who were separated.

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You can find more analysis about health insurance coverage in the report Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, as well as detailed tables on the Census Bureau website at:

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