Published Date: February 01, 2018

The study examines specialty behavioral health treatment patterns among employer-insured adults in same- and different-gender domestic partnerships and marriages. The study used behavioral health service claims (2008–2013) from Optum to estimate gender-stratified rates of behavioral health service use by couple type and partnership status among partnered adults ages 18–64 and levels of use among those with any use.
Both women and men in same-gender marriages or domestic partnerships had higher rates of behavioral health service use, particularly diagnostic evaluation, individual psychotherapy, and medication management, and those in treatment had, on average, more psychotherapy visits than those in different-gender marriages. Behavioral health treatment patterns were similar between women in same-gender domestic partnerships and same-gender marriages, but they diverged between men in same-gender domestic partnerships and same-gender marriages.

Results indicated that adults with same-gender partners living in states with fewer legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons were less likely than adults with same-gender partners in LGBT-friendly states to receive behavioral health treatment.

Publication Authors:
  • Linda Diem Tran, MPP
  • Susan L. Ettner, PhD
  • et al