June 20, 2011
Patty McCarthy (313) 882-9200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Reinheimer (248) 227-3667, email@example.com
Ann Arbor, MI – The second annual Cover Michigan Survey, released today by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT), shows that people who lack health coverage are more likely to seek medical treatment in costlier care settings and less likely to have regular, preventive care.
The survey of 1,000 Michigan adults also reveals that simply having health coverage does not guarantee access to care.
Among those with health coverage, those with Medicaid coverage reported the greatest difficulty gaining access to preferred primary care providers or specialists and were the most likely to delay seeking care when needed.
The uninsured—who reported more difficulty accessing care when compared to the insured—appeared to be sicker or more acutely ill at the point they sought health care services. And among the uninsured, nearly one in three (32 percent) reported having been diagnosed with depression, compared to one in ten (11 percent) of the insured.
“This second-year survey tells us that having any kind of health insurance is better than being uninsured. Those with coverage—including Medicaid—are better linked to primary care doctors who can provide regular, preventive care,” says Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of CHRT. “But when we see the level of difficulty in finding providers to accept their coverage and provide them with the care they need reported today by Medicaid beneficiaries, it raises concerns about the ability of Michigan’s Medicaid system to handle the expected increase in enrollment when the expanded eligibility provision of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.”
Udow-Phillips says CHRT is collaborating with the Michigan Department of Community Health on a follow-up study to better understand the underlying issues regarding access to care in the Medicaid population.
Additional findings from the survey include:
“The findings from this survey are not unique to Michigan,” says Udow-Phillips. “These results are applicable to states across the country and highlight the significant challenge there is in providing health care to the uninsured and Medicaid recipients in particular. We hope this survey will inform policy makers as they think about ways to make primary, specialty and mental health care more accessible, coordinated and integrated for those in need.”
For more information, and to review the survey results in more detail, go to: http://www.chrt.org/publications/cover-michigan/cover-michigan-survey-2011/
The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation sponsors research and public information to promote evidence-based health care delivery, improve population health, and expand access to care. Housed at the University of Michigan, CHRT is a nonprofit partnership between U-M and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to study and report on the best ideas for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the health care system.