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Research Letter
July 2016

Continuity of Private Health Insurance Coverage After Traumatic Brain Injury

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Surg. 2016;151(7):678-680. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0040

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for 2.5 million emergency department visits, 280 000 hospitalizations, and 52 000 deaths in the United States each year, with approximately 40% of survivors developing some level of disability.1,2 Post-TBI disability in adults can lead to loss of employment and disruption of employment-based health insurance, which may affect ongoing care and can be devastating to policyholders and dependents. Even individuals sufficiently disabled by TBI to qualify for Medicare may face substantial delays in eligibility and access to care after loss of private coverage.3 The chronic nature of many post-TBI health issues underscores the importance of coverage continuity.4 We examined TBI-related factors associated with accelerated coverage change and differences in time to coverage change among individuals with employer-provided private insurance.

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