National and state-specific health insurance disparities for adults in same-sex relationships

  • Gonzales G
  • Blewett L
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Objectives. We examined national and state-specific disparities in health insurance coverage, specifically employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage, for adults in same-sex relationships. Methods. We used data from the American Community Survey to identify adults (aged 25-64 years) in same-sex relationships (n = 31 947), married opposite-sex relationships (n = 3 060 711), and unmarried opposite-sex relationships (n = 259 147). We estimated multinomial logistic regression models and state-specific relative differences in ESI coverage with predictive margins. Results. Men and women in same-sex relationships were less likely to have ESI than were their married counterparts in opposite-sex relationships. We found ESI disparities among adults in same-sex relationships in every region, but we found the largest ESI gaps for men in the South and for women in the Midwest. ESI disparities were narrower in states that had extended legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, and broad domestic partnerships. Conclusions. Men and women in same-sex relationships experience disparities in health insurance coverage across the country, but residing in a state that recognizes legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or broad domestic partnerships may improve access to ESI for same-sex spouses and domestic partners.

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