Unemployed adults have poorer health status than employed adults

Unemployed adults are less likely to receive medical care and fill prescriptions, and have poorer mental and physical health status, regardless of insurance coverage, compared to employed adults, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other key findings from the study, which examined data from the the National Health Interview Survey, 2009–2010:

  • In 2009–2010, 48.1% of unemployed adults aged 18–64 years had health insurance compared with 81.4% of employed adults; among the insured, a higher proportion of the unemployed had public insurance.
  • Unemployed adults were more likely to have serious psychological distress than employed working-age adults, regardless of health insurance coverage.
  • Unemployed adults had more difficulties obtaining needed medical care due to cost than employed adults, regardless of insurance coverage
  • 30.1% of unemployed uninsured adults did not get a needed prescription in the past year compared with 23.2% of employed uninsured adults.

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, January 24, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, January 2012)