Keywords: health insurance, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, moral hazard, matched sampling
Health insurance allows for greater access to affordable care to provide preventative care and treatment; however the moral hazard effect suggests that people with health insurance, a perceived safety net, are less likely to utilize preventative health. The specific aim is to compare insured adults (> 6 years of health insurance coverage, n=496) with the underinsured adults (= 6 years of health insurance coverage, n=523) and estimate the likelihood of having a diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure screening in the past two years, using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. Exact matched sampling to balance the predictor groups and Binomial regression to estimate the risk of becoming overweight and obese, results showed that the insured had a 45% higher likelihood (RR: 1.45, 95%CI: 1.12, 1.87) of having a diabetes screening, 91% increased likelihood (RR: 1.91, 95% CI: 1.46, 2.53) of having a cholesterol screen and a 20% increased likelihood (RR: 1.20, 95%CI: 1.02, 1.41) of having a blood pressure screening than those underinsured. The moral hazard effect of health insurance does not appear to impact the preventative health behaviors in this population.