Is Health Insurance Literacy Associated With Financial Hardship Among Cancer Survivors? Findings From a National Sample in the United States

Zhao, J., Han, X., Zheng, Z., Banegas, M. P., Ekwueme, D. U., Yabroff, K. R.

Little is known about the association between health insurance literacy and financial hardship among cancer survivors. Using the 2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Experiences with Cancer self-administered questionnaire, we evaluated the associations between health insurance literacy and medical financial hardship and nonmedical financial sacrifices among adult cancer survivors in the United States. Of the survivors, 18.9% aged 18-64 years and 14.6% aged 65 years and older reported health insurance literacy problems. In both age groups (18-64 and ≥65 years), from multivariable logistic regressions, survivors with health insurance literacy problems were more likely to report any material (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.53 to 5.96; AOR = 3.33, 95% CI = 1.69 to 6.57, respectively) or psychological (AOR = 5.53, 95% CI = 2.35 to 13.01; AOR = 8.79, 95% CI = 4.55 to 16.97, respectively) hardship, as well as all types of nonmedical financial sacrifices than those without these problems. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to test causality and assess whether improving health insurance literacy can mitigate financial hardship.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2019
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