The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4131.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Table 6

Abstract #48872

Getting less care: Differences in access to care between the insured and the uninsured with chronic health conditions

Eric K. Gemmen, MA1, Amy Grabow, BA1, and Cheryl Fish-Parcham2. (1) Medical Technology Practice, The Lewin Group, 3130 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 800, Falls Church, VA 22042, (703) 269-5538,, (2) Families USA, 1334 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Introduction: This study compares the health care received by insured and uninsured non-elderly U.S. persons who have one of five common health conditions: heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, and chronic back pain. Methodology: Statistical analysis of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results: Among persons with these chronic health conditions, the uninsured visit health care providers less often than the insured; are less likely to have an ongoing relationship with a health care provider; are much more likely to report that they or a family member did not receive a doctor’s care or prescription medicines due to the need to pay for food, clothing, or housing; are much more likely to go without medicines that are essential to maintaining their health and functioning; are considerably less likely to receive screenings for elevated blood pressure or blood cholesterol, and to receive lab tests. These differences are present across all conditions studied, but some differences are exacerbated for persons with certain chronic conditions. Implications/Action: This study demonstrates that health care is often inaccessible to uninsured people with serious chronic conditions, and points to the need to expand health insurance coverage. Currently, the uninsured have some rights to care under federal law when they have life-threatening emergencies, but few protections when they need non-emergency care.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Access to Care, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Overcoming Barriers to Care: Meeting Consumer Expectations

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA