Study: High uninsured rates affect health care of those with insurance

By | 09.23.11 | 12:50 pm

A new study shows that a community that has a high rate of uninsured members affects the health care access and quality of those who actually have insurance.

Modern Healthcare reports that the study, which was published in the journal Medical Care, found that there are “indirect, or spillover, health care effects” on people with health care insurance, when the community they live in has a high rate of uninsured.

One of the key findings of the study was that “working-age adults with private insurance residing in areas with a high rate of uninsurance were less likely than their peer in areas with a low rate of uninsurance to have a usual source of care, an office-based visit, and any medical care expenditures.”

According to Modern Healthcare:

[The study] found that insured residents living in communities with high uninsurance rates were more likely to have unmet medical needs and encounter problems obtaining specialist referrals than those who lived in communities where the percentage of uninsured residents was lower.

Researchers also found that seniors with Medicare coverage who lived in areas with a high rate of uninsurance were more than likely than their counterparts in areas with a low uninsurance rate to report problems getting needed care as well as an unmet need for prescription drugs.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Florida has one of the highest rates of citizens without health insurance. Florida is currently among the top three states with the highest rates of uninsured residents.

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