Perception, Reality and Health Insurance: Uninsured as Likely as Insured to Perceive Need for Care but Half as Likely to Get Care
Publication Date: October 2005
Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change
Series: Issue Brief No. 100
While considerable research shows that uninsured people are less likely to seek and receive medical care, some contend that the uninsured are uninsured by choice and can obtain care when needed. A new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), however, undercuts the validity of this contention, finding that there is no difference between insured and uninsured people’s perception of the need to see a medical provider when they experience a serious new symptom. However, among people who believed that they needed medical care, the uninsured were less than half as likely to see or talk to a doctor, indicating that lack of insurance is a major barrier to uninsured people getting needed medical care.