“How uninsured adults access health care” – Journalist’s Resource

uninsured

by Chloe Reichel

“Uninsured adults use emergency rooms at similar rates to those with insurance, new research finds. Scholars at Harvard, the University of Chicago and MIT present this finding to correct what they call a ‘common misperception that the uninsured use the ED [Emergency Department] more than the insured.’

“In fact, they found that adults insured through Medicaid — public insurance for the poor — use the emergency room more than those without insurance. Looking at survey data from 2013, the researchers found that 12.2 percent of uninsured adults had visits to the emergency room compared with 13.7 percent of insured adults. Of those who had insurance, 29.3 percent of adults on Medicaid made emergency room visits. Fewer privately insured adults — 11.1 percent — went to the emergency room.

“The researchers also looked at data to categorize these emergency room visits. They found that insured and uninsured adults used the emergency room in similar ways.”

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