Indu Ahluwalia, PhD1, Julie Bolen, PhD2, Ali H. Mokdad, PhD3, and Bill Garvin1. (1) Behavioral Surveillance Branch, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway K-66, Atlanta, GA 30066, 770-488-5794, email@example.com, (2) Health Care and Aging Studies Branch, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway K-66, Atlanta, GA 30066, (3) Division of Adult and Community Health, Behavioral Surveillance Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, M/S K66, Atlanta, GA 30341
Health insurance coverage is an indicator of access to health care. Numerous studies show the association between no health insurance and poor health outcomes. About 45.8 million people lacked health insurance coverage in 2004 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and there are substantive variations in health insurance coverage by geographic areas. Our objective was to examine the lack of health insurance by state and metropolitan areas in the United States. We analyzed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from 2004.
Data show that lack of insurance among states varied from 9.2% (SE=0.64) in Minnesota to 30.65% (SE=0.85) in Texas. The uninsurance prevalence varied by race and ethnicity. Among the 134 metropolitan areas examined, the prevalence of uninsurance ranged from 8.24% (SE=1.45) in Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, MD to 41.51% (SE=2.8) in El Paso, TX.
These findings show a high variation in health insurance coverage among states and metropolitan areas. These findings are valuable in identifying disparities in health insurance coverage by geographic location as well as the underlying factors that may be associated with such variation. Continued surveillance of health insurance status and its impact and access to health care will help public health professionals to adequately plan prevention programs and policies.
Keywords: Access to Health Care, Surveillance
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA