Mental Health Insurance Plans’ Constituents: In Sickness and in Health?

Mélanie Bourque, McGill University
Sean Clouston, McGill University
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University

In the U.S. as in most other developed countries, coverage of mental health services still varies a lot from one policy to the next, with public insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare often offering the most extensive coverage for nonelderly adults (Institute of Medicine 2002). Thus, while nonelderly privately insured individuals report the best access to general services, the publicly insured should report the best access to mental health services. In this sense, rather than reproducing inequalities, health insurance, and particularly public health insurance, may play an important role in lessening the impact of SES on mental health. Data will be drawn from the publicly available files of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). Use of these data will improve empirically on existing research by including measures of SES and health that temporally – and thus causally – precede the measurement of adult mental health.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology