Effect of health insurance on workplace absenteeism in the U.S. workforce

Jennifer H. Lofland, Kevin D. Frick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between health insurance (HI) and number of missed workdays (MW), and how it is modified by level of access to care (AC) and healthcare use (HC). Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective study of 1996-1999 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey of U.S. employees. RESULTS: Of 25,676 individuals, 13,957 (54%) reported MW (mean [standard deviation] = 4.3 [0.092]). Having HI was significantly associated with decreased likelihood of MW. Higher level of AC was significantly associated with greater number of MW. HC was significantly associated with increased likelihood of and greater number of MW. CONCLUSIONS: Having HI any time over the year is significantly associated with decreased likelihood of and smaller number of MW. HC use is an important explanatory variable and appears to be a confounder between HI and MW. The benefits to employers of ensuring that employees have health coverage should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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