Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Health insurance and chronic conditions in low-income urban whites

TitleHealth insurance and chronic conditions in low-income urban whites
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSmolen, JR, Thorpe, R. J., J, Bowie, JV, Gaskin, DJ, Laveist, TA
JournalJ Urban Health
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number1099-3460
Accession Number24912597

Little is known about how health insurance contributes to the prevalence of chronic disease in the overlooked population of low-income urban whites. This study uses cross-sectional data on 491 low-income urban non-elderly non-Hispanic whites from the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities-Southwest Baltimore (EHDIC-SWB) study to examine the relationship between insurance status and chronic conditions (defined as participant report of ever being told by a doctor they had hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, anxiety or depression, asthma or emphysema, or cancer). In this sample, 45.8 % were uninsured, 28.3 % were publicly insured, and 25.9 % had private insurance. Insured participants had similar odds of having any chronic condition (odds ratios (OR) 1.06; 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 0.70-1.62) compared to uninsured participants. However, those who had public insurance had a higher odds of reporting any chronic condition compared to the privately insured (OR 2.29; 95 % CI 1.21-4.35). In low-income urban areas, the health of whites is not often considered. However, this is a significant population whose reported prevalence of chronic conditions has implications for the Medicaid expansion and the implementation of health insurance exchanges.