Background: Lack of health insurance is a key barrier to accessing care for chronic conditions and cancer screening. The influence of insurance type (private, public, none) on survivor-focused and general preventive health care in adult survivors of childhood cancer was examined.
Methods: The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study is a retrospective cohort study of childhood cancer survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. Among 8425 adult survivors, the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of receiving survivor-focused and general preventive health care were estimated for uninsured (n = 1390) and publicly insured (n = 640), compared with for the privately insured (n = 6395)
Results: Uninsured survivors were less likely than those privately insured to report a cancer-related visit (adjusted RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.75-0.91) or a cancer center visit (adjusted RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71-0.98). Uninsured survivors had lower levels of utilization in all measures of care in comparison with privately insured. In contrast, publicly insured survivors were more likely to report a cancer-related visit (adjusted RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.11-1.35) or a cancer center visit (adjusted RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.18-1.70) than were privately insured survivors. Although publicly insured survivors had similar utilization of general health examinations, they were less likely to report a Papanicolaou test or a dental examinations
Conclusions: Among this large, socioeconomically diverse cohort, publicly insured survivors utilize survivor-focused health care at rates at least as high as survivors with private insurance. Uninsured survivors have lower utilization of both survivor-focused and general preventive health care.
Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society.