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Low-Income Fathers’ Access to Health Insurance


We examine the prevalence and correlates of health insurance status among low-income fathers, a group not previously studied in this context. In a sample of 1,653 low-income fathers from a national urban birth cohort study, 29% had private, 14% had public, and 58% had no insurance. Privately insured fathers had greater levels of human capital than did publicly insured fathers; the latter more closely resembled uninsured fathers than they did privately insured fathers. Multinomial logistic regression analysis indicates that being older, being employed, being married, and having a job offering health insurance all increase the likelihood of having private (vs. no) insurance, and that being disabled and married to or cohabiting with the child’s mother increase the likelihood of having public (vs. no) insurance. Public policy should focus on increasing access to health insurance among low-income men, which may improve their health, productivity, and ability to support themselves and their children.