Outpatient Visits among Older Adults Living Alone in China: Does Health Insurance and City of Residence Matter?
This study aimed to examine the association between health insurance, city of residence, and outpatient visits among older adults living alone in China. A sample of 3173 individuals was derived from "Survey on Older Adults Aged 70 and Above Living Alone in Urban China" in five different cities. Logistic regression models indicated that older adults living alone who had urban employee basic medical insurance, urban resident basic medical insurance, and public medical insurance were more likely to have outpatient visits than those without any health insurance. After controlling the number of chronic diseases, only those with public medical insurance were more likely to have outpatient visits than uninsured older adults. Additionally, older adults who resided in Shanghai and Guangzhou were more likely to have outpatient visits than those in Chengdu, whereas older adults who were in Dalian and Hohhot were less likely to have outpatient visits. To improve the equity of outpatient visits among older adults living alone in China, policy efforts should be made to reduce fragmentation of different health insurance plans, expand the health insurance coverage for older adults, provide programs that consider the needs of this special group of older adults, and reduce the inequality in health resources and health insurance policies across cities.
Wang, J; Pei, Y; Zhong, R; Wu, B
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