Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Health Insurance Dynamics of Uninsured Rural Families

1/1/2004 - 1/31/2005
Principal Investigator: 
Andrew Coburn

Numerous studies have found higher uninsured rates among rural versus urban residents, yet our understanding of the health insurance coverage of rural families remains limited. This is because the previous studies have focused on the insurance status of rural individuals despite growing recognition among researchers and policymakers that health insurance is what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls "A Family Matter" (IOM 202).

To better understand the dynamics of insurance coverage among rural and urban families, this study will use the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to compare family health insurance coverage among non-elderly rural and urban families. This study has three objectives: 1) In households with at least one uninsured member, to determine if there are rural-urban differences in family-level insurance status (fully insured, partially insured, or completely uninsured; 2) Among families with mixed coverage, to identify the insurance status of other family members (Medicare, Medicaid, employer-sponsored, and non-group private); and, 3) To determine what employment and socioeconomic characteristics are associated with rural families health insurance mix and whether these characteristics are the same or different than for urban families.

Given that current strategies to address the uninsured appear to be focused almost exclusively on incremental health insurance reform, the findings from this study will assist policy-makers in determining how to build on existing insurance systems in ways that will be most effective for rural families.

Start Date: 
Thu, 2004-01-01
End Date: 
Mon, 2005-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
2 147

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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