Unbound MEDLINE

Effect of same-sex marriage laws on health care use and expenditures in sexual minority men: a quasi-natural experiment.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES
We sought to determine whether health care use and expenditures among gay and bisexual men were reduced following the enactment of same-sex marriage laws in Massachusetts in 2003.
METHODS
We used quasi-experimental, prospective data from 1211 sexual minority male patients in a community-based health center in Massachusetts.
RESULTS
In the 12 months after the legalization of same-sex marriage, sexual minority men had a statistically significant decrease in medical care visits (mean = 5.00 vs mean = 4.67; P = .05; Cohen's d = 0.17), mental health care visits (mean = 24.72 vs mean = 22.20; P = .03; Cohen's d = 0.35), and mental health care costs (mean = $2442.28 vs mean = $2137.38; P = .01; Cohen's d = 0.41), compared with the 12 months before the law change. These effects were not modified by partnership status, indicating that the health effect of same-sex marriage laws was similar for partnered and nonpartnered men.
CONCLUSIONS
Policies that confer protections to same-sex couples may be effective in reducing health care use and costs among sexual minority men.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Hatzenbuehler ML, O'Cleirigh C, Grasso C, Mayer K, Safren S, Bradford J

    Institution

    Center for the Study of Social Inequalities in Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W 168 St, New York, NY 10032, USA. mlh2101@columbia.edu

    Source

    American journal of public health 102:2 2012 Feb pg 285-91

    MeSH

    Adult
    Age Factors
    Aged
    Bisexuality
    Community Health Centers
    Homosexuality, Male
    Humans
    Male
    Marriage
    Massachusetts
    Mental Health Services
    Middle Aged
    Policy
    Prospective Studies
    Socioeconomic Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22390442