SEI Residents Less Likely To Go Without Health Insurance During Lean Times

Posted On July 23, 2014

Press release from Interact for Health

(Cincinnati, Oh.) – According to information released Tuesday by Interact for Health, less than 1 out of 10 adults (7 percent) in Southeast Indiana reported that they or someone in their household went without a doctor’s care in the past 12 months because the household needed the money to buy food or clothing, or to pay for housing. This compares to a regional percentage of 15 percent. The regional number has remained relatively steady since 2010, after nearly tripling between 2005 and 2010. Data are from the 2013 Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey (CHSS).

“Timely, appropriate health care has been repeatedly shown to have a positive impact on health outcomes,” says Jennifer Chubinski, Director of Community Research for Interact for Health. “If not treated early, a minor health issue can turn into a serious, chronic and costly health condition. Unfortunately, many people are forced to choose between health care and other essential items, which may have long-term health impacts.”


Lower education, lower income, uninsured going without care

The percent of people going without care due to cost varies according to level of education. Three in 10 adults (30 percent) with less than a high school education report going without care due to cost, compared to about 1 in 10 adults with at least a high school education (13 percent). Only 5 percent of adults with a college degree report choosing between health care and other basic needs.

“Not surprisingly, adults in poverty and without health insurance must make this difficult choice more frequently,” says Chubinski. Adults living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are nearly 5 times as likely (29 percent) to report going without care for financial reasons when compared to adults living above 200% of FPL (6 percent). More than 4 in 10 Cincinnati adults who are uninsured (43 percent) report going without care in the past year compared to only 1 in 10 insured adults (10 percent).


People with diminished health, older adults going without care

Nearly 3 in 10 adults (27 percent) in poor or fair health report going without care due to cost, compared to only about 1 in 10 adults with excellent, very good or good health (12 percent). “This may reflect the consequences of being forced to neglect health needs in favor of other basic needs,” says Chubinski. Consistent with survey responses in previous years, only 1 in 25 adults over age 65 reports going without a doctor’s care for financial reasons. This compares to about 1 in 6 adults aged 18-64.

More information about Greater Cincinnatians’ financial access to care, and other topics, is available online at www.interactforhealth.org/greater-cincinnati-community-health-status-survey.