Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 409–426 | Cite as

The Health Insurance and Life Satisfaction Connection

  • Ngan Lam Thi Tran
  • Robert W. Wassmer
  • Edward L. LascherJr.Email author
Research Paper


Prior studies indicate that perceived health is strongly associated with a sense of well-being. The effect of health insurance is much less clear: there has been little rigorous empirical research assessing whether health coverage has an independent impact on individual happiness. This topic is especially important in the US where recently an estimated 18 % of the non-elderly were uninsured and extension of coverage through means such as the Affordable Care Act has been controversial. The present study addresses this question. Drawing from a large survey that collected comprehensive health and personal information about the US adult population, controlling for a wide variety of factors known to influence well-being, and addressing the possible endogeneity of having health insurance, we find that individuals without health insurance coverage were less likely to be “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with life. This may be because health insurance reduces uncertainty. Regardless of other benefits it may bring, the expansion of health insurance coverage should increase the life satisfaction of American society.


Health insurance Happiness Life satisfaction Affordable Care Act 

Supplementary material

10902_2016_9729_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ngan Lam Thi Tran
    • 1
  • Robert W. Wassmer
    • 1
  • Edward L. LascherJr.
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Public Policy and AdministrationCalifornia State UniversitySacramentoUSA

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