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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


FUSTE, Josep et al. Public healthcare coverage versus double healthcare coverage: what are the differences?. Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To identify differences in socioeconomic characteristics, health status, health services' utilization, and satisfaction with health services between the population with public healthcare coverage only and the population with double healthcare coverage through additional affiliation to mutual or private health insurance companies. Methods: Data from the 2002 Catalan Health Interview Survey with interviews to 8,400 individuals were used. Individuals with public healthcare insurance were differentiated from those who also had private health insurance. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used. Results: A total of 99.2% of the population reported public healthcare coverage and 24.7% also had voluntary mutual or private insurance. Individuals with double coverage were younger, had a high level of education, belonged to advantaged classes, and reported better self-perceived health and fewer chronic diseases and disabilities. No significant differences in the percentage of individuals who reported visiting a health professional in the previous 15 days were observed. Significant differences in the type of professional visited were observed: 65% of individuals with public healthcare coverage only visited primary care settings but 51.1% of those with double coverage visited specialists. The proportion of persons reporting that they were satisfied or very satisfied with professional attitudes, waiting times and administrative procedures was higher in the double coverage group. Conclusions: Distinct sociodemographic and health profiles were found between persons with public coverage only and those with double coverage. Health services' utilization also differed between the two groups.

Keywords : Healthcare coverage; Double healthcare coverage; Health services; Catalonia.

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