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Risk of Losing Insurance During the Transition into Adulthood Among Insured Youth with Disabilities

An Erratum to this article was published on 11 June 2009


To compare insured youth (age 15–25 years) with and without disabilities on risk of insurance loss. We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2001. Descriptive statistics characterized insured youth who maintained or who lost insurance for at least 3 months over a 3-year time frame. We conducted logistic regression to calculate the association between disability and insurance loss. Adjustment variables were gender, race, ethnicity, age, work or school status, poverty status, type of insurance at study onset, state generosity, and an interaction between disability and insurance type. This study includes 2,123 insured youth without disabilities, 320 insured youth with non-severe disabilities, and 295 insured youth with severe disabilities. Thirty-six percent of insured youth without disabilities lost insurance compared to 43% of insured youth with non-severe disabilities and 41% of insured youth with severe disabilities (P = .07). Youth with non-severe disabilities on public insurance have an estimated 61% lower odds of losing insurance (OR: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.93; P = .03) compared to youth without disabilities on public insurance. Further, youth with severe disabilities on public insurance have an estimated 81% lower odds of losing insurance (OR: 0.19; 95% CI: 0.09, 0.40; P < .001) compared to youth without disabilities. When examining youth with private insurance, we find that youth with non-severe disabilities have 1.63 times higher odds (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.03, 2.57; P = .04) of losing health insurance compared to youth without disabilities. Insurance type interacts with disability severity to affect odds of insurance loss among insured youth.

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This study was funded by: Grant Number 1 TL1 RR025016-02 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

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Correspondence to Grace Wang.

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Wang, G., Grembowski, D. & Watts, C. Risk of Losing Insurance During the Transition into Adulthood Among Insured Youth with Disabilities. Matern Child Health J 18, 1583–1590 (2014).

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  • Disability
  • Youth with special health care needs
  • Insurance
  • Transition
  • Adolescent health