How a Gap in Health Insurance Coverage Affects Care
While only 26%, or 48.2 million adults aged 19 to 64 years experienced a gap in their health insurance coverage in 2011, these folks often remain uninsured for a year or more. In fact, 57% were uninsured for more than two years.
The really bad news is that experiencing a gap in health insurance coverage can set a person on a slippery slope. Physicians may disappear and preventive care is often skipped. And this all happens fairly quickly. After an insurance gap of a year or more:
- Fewer than half of the respondents still had a regular doctor.
- Only 33% had their cholesterol checked in the past five years.
- About 51% had their blood pressure checked.
- Only 28% of women reported having a regularly scheduled mammogram.
- Fewer than 10% had a colon cancer screening.
Change in employment status was the leading cause of insurance gaps with 67% reporting that when they switched jobs, lost their job, or worked part-time, they lost their coverage.
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