Marriage and Being Single Trumps Cohabitation When It Comes to Men’s Health

study: married men and single men are healthier than men who are in a cohabiting relationship
If you’re a man, there appears to be health benefits to either remaining single or getting married, as compared to living with your significant other according to a new study from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) published June 11, 2014 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found men who are single or married are more likely to visit their doctor on a regular basis than those men who are living with a partner, but not married. Women didn’t see the same increase in health benefits between cohabitation and marriage as men did.

The study further notes that among the three groups studied (married, single and cohabiting), those men who are living unwed with their partner are the least likely to have had preventative medicine screenings in the past year such as blood or cholesterol tests. The findings apply to both older and younger men. As the study noted, “Cohabiting men are a group particularly at risk of not receiving clinical preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

The reason for the differences are not understood at the moment. The findings were actually a surprise, and the lead author of the study, Stephen Blumberg, said the results were, “completely unexpected.” He did note the findings indicate those who are living with a man out-of-wedlock may need to take a more active role in helping their partner make health care decisions, and have more thorough discussions about getting healthy with him.

These finding seem to indicate there will be a significant amount of monetary savings for those who are married compared to those who are cohabiting. Men who are taking better care of their health, and are going to see their doctor for preventative medicine, are much more likely, on average, to be healthier. Doing these things should also decrease the amount of money they need to spend on healthcare, plus allow them to avoid many of the extra indirect costs which come with being less healthy.

There are also some significant personal finance benefits for those married (both men and women) over cohabitation. These include the following:

Insurance Benefits

Couples who are married have the ability to get dental, health, and other insurance benefits through their spouses employment, rather than each having to find insurance on their own when they live together. It’s often much easier to obtain insurance for the entire family when couples are married. There’s also often an opportunity for the family to pick the best insurance option from two competing company policies. In the end, the family will usually get better insurance coverage at less cost, and with much less hassle, than they could get when simply living together.

Death Benefits

Another major benefit for couples who are married compared to those who are simply living together, is the ability to receive their partner’s property and other assets if an unfortunate death should occur. Being married provides a much more simple and less expensive path to resolving a person’s estate when a death occurs. Usually all of the spouses property will go to the other spouse. For those who are cohabiting, the process of dividing up the estate can be much more complicated and much more costly.

Government Benefits

There are number of government benefits that come with being married which aren’t available to those who are cohabiting. A perfect example is survivors benefits from retirement plans and Social Security. Those who are married will receive them, while those who are living together, in many cases, will not.

(Photo courtesy of Drew And Merissa)

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3 Responses to Marriage and Being Single Trumps Cohabitation When It Comes to Men’s Health

  1. faith says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I make all my husband’s appointments. I’m not sure he would ever make it to the doctor if I didn’t do the scheduling for him. I’m sure the situation is similar in many marriages.

  2. Petunia100 says:

    This does surprise me. I would think that most men do not make their own appointments, and that would be why those who live with a partner, married or not, have regular preventative health care. I would think that the group not getting the preventative care would be the single men.

  3. Last year, we had an unexpected health problem with my husband. I’m glad that he immediately visited his Doctor. There was a skin that grows inside his nose, the medication was pretty expensive. Thankfully, he has a medical insurance for his company, but his nose spray was not included in the insurance.

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