Insurance Stability and Cancer Screening Behaviors

Karen M. Freund, Sarah A. Reisinger, Amy M. Leclair, Grace H. Yoon, Sarah M. Al-Najar, Gregory S. Young, Evelyn T. González, Jill M. Oliveri, Electra D. Paskett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Disparities in rates of cancer screening are observed in underserved populations. Lack of stable health insurance may contribute to these disparities. The goal of this study was to examine the association between insurance stability and up-to-date cancer screening in underserved populations. Methods and Findings: We enrolled 333 community participants aged 40-74 years across four different sites in three states: Chinese Americans in Boston, Massachusetts; Hispanics in Columbus, Ohio; Appalachian populations from Ohio's Appalachian counties; and Blacks and African Americans in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Self-reported screening rates were 77.9% for breast cancer, 71.1% for cervical cancer, and 67.7% for colorectal cancer (CRC). Screening rates fell short of Health People 2020 targets for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screenings. Being currently insured was associated with current CRC screenings (69.7% among insured vs. 30.7% among uninsured, p=0.0055), but not with breast or cervical cancer screenings. Stable 12-month insurance coverage was not statistically associated with up-to-date screenings. Conclusion: Having current insurance was associated with CRC screening; stability of insurance was not associated with cancer screening. Insurance coverage alone is not the main driver of cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • cancer screening
  • health disparities
  • insurance
  • racial/ethnic minorities


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