We assess the effect of income inequality on life expectancy by performing separate estimations for developed and developing countries. Our empirical analysis challenges the widely held view that inequality matters more for health in richer countries than for health in poorer countries. Employing panel cointegration and conventional panel regressions, we find that income inequality slightly increases life expectancy in developed countries. By contrast, the effect on life expectancy is significantly negative in developing countries. Even though the quantitative effects are small, the contrast between the two country groups proves to be robust to modifications in measurement, specification and methodological choices.