People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are more likely to lose their private health insurance coverage, according to a new analysis.
Researchers with Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed more than three years worth of data and found that the more severe a patient’s brain injury, the faster and more likely he is to lose or see changes in his health coverage. Since most people receive health insurance from their employers, changes in coverage were often attributed to a change in employment, such as an inability to continue working and eventually becoming unemployed.
For the study, researchers used data from the national health insurance database MarketScan from January 2010 to December 2012. Researchers involved more than 13,500 people younger than 65, and compared individuals who were treated for TBI with those who did not have a TBI.
Researchers found that 30.7 percent of patients with TBI saw changes to their health insurance coverage compared to 27.6 percent of those who did not have a TBI. Those with the most severe head injuries saw changes in their health insurance in less than five months compared to about 8.5 months for those without head injuries. Researchers said their findings are significant since people with TBIs often require long-term health care and rehabilitation.
An estimated 1.7 million people in the U.S. sustain a TBI annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among them, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1,365 are treated and released from an emergency department. About 40 percent of people who survive TBIs become disabled, affecting their ability to work and manage day-to-day routines.
Source: Tech Times