American Sociological Association

Men as Dependents? Marriage and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage among Working-age Adults in the United States, 1988 to 2008

Changes in marriage and employment patterns may have affected health insurance coverage rates differently for women and men. The author investigates changes in health insurance coverage between 1988 and 2008, focusing on employersponsored insurance (ESI) dependent and employee coverage. Using Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions and Current Population Survey data, the author finds that married men’s coverage as dependents increased from 1988 to 2008, but a smaller share of men were married in 2008. Coupled with declines in ESI employee coverage, changes in marriage increased men’s uninsurance rate. In contrast, marital changes for women were offset by their increased employment and insurance coverage as employees.

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Christine Percheski



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