Percent of adults who could not get medical care when needed due to cost
Every year, millions of people in the United States forgo needed medical care for a number of reasons, such as high cost, distrust of the medical system, or low perceived need to seek medical care. Going without needed medical care can lead to serious physical, emotional, and financial hardship as a result of missed disease diagnoses, emergency hospitalizations, and other unforeseen circumstances. Given the potential risks associated with forgoing needed medical care, tracking data on this issue is a key step in understanding which populations are not getting the medical care they need and informing efforts to achieve health equity.
State Health Compare provides annual, state-level estimates of adults who could not get needed medical care due to cost using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Three breakdowns are available for this measure: chronic disease status, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity.
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This SHADAC blog provides an analysis of two indirect costs of rising health care spending and uninsurance in the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic: foregone needed medical care and lack of a personal care doctor. Using data from the BRFSS survey, SHADAC researchers examined national and state-level trends in foregone needed medical care and lack of a personal care doctor, as well as comparisons by race/ethnicity and educational attainment.
This SHADAC blog examines Americans’ access and ability to afford medical care, focusing on inequities related to race/ethnicity and education and using two measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BRFSS survey: Adults Who Forgo Needed Medical Care and Adults with No Personal Doctor.