Lack of Insurance Affects Access to Health Care

About 25% of uninsured adults go without proper needed care due to the high cost. The studies show that patients who are uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for their chronic diseases or health conditions. Some research also shows that having health insurance can decrease likelihood of stress and depression.

Health providers can choose not to provide care or coverage to the uninsured. Emergency departments are the only places that are required by law to screen and stabilize all individuals regardless of insurance situation. On the same note, the uninsured are not necessarily more likely to need to use an emergency facility than those who have coverage.

According to studies, uninsured Americans are receiving less preventative care and recommended health screenings than the insured. Older adults between ages 50-64 were far less likely to report having been screened for cancer within the past 5 years than their insured counterparts. Receiving needed healthcare is especially important for the uninsured due to the fact that they are generally not as healthy as those with private insurance coverage. Uninsured Americans are more likely to miss a diagnosis of serious health conditions. If a chronic issue is diagnosed, they are less likely to continue receiving the necessary follow up care that is needed to prevent health decline. A lacking of follow-up attention that is attributed to being uninsured can delay the detection of cancers, which can then result in adverse outcomes for the patient.

Finally, uninsured patients report higher rates of postponing care or forgoing the needed care to maintain good health. Uninsured are also reported to go without much needed prescription medications than those who are covered and enrolled with Medicaid or other public assistance programs.

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