A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health provides insightful research outlining the effect of same-sex marriage laws on health care use and costs for gay and bisexual men (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2011). The study examined the frequency of visits of 1,211 participants, both before and after the legalization of marriage in Massachusetts (2003). This research is unique in that data before a “natural” event were available for analysis. Most natural events do not provide such pre-event data to sufficiently document the change following a natural event, in this case the passing of the Massachusetts same-sex marriage law.
The study found “a significant decrease in medical care visits (13%) and costs (10%) and in mental health care visits (13%) and expenditures (14%).” The lead researcher, Mark Hatzenbuehler at Columbia University, suggested that one possible explanation is a reduced level … Read More »