Health insurance no healthcare guarantee

March 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 8 (UPI) -- Having health insurance is not synonymous with having access to healthcare, a U.S. survey indicates.

The survey of 1,022 Michigan adults by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation showed while 40 percent of those who lacked insurance delayed seeking needed care, so did 17 percent of those with health insurance -- mostly due to cost concerns.

Seventy-two percent of those with incomes of $150,000 or more reported excellent or good health, compared to 14 percent of those with incomes of less than $10,000 per year. However, 49 percent of those who were insured reported excellent or very good health, compared to 47 percent of the uninsured.

The survey says many low-income urban dwellers had fewer problems accessing care than all but high-income suburban dwellers -- potentially reflecting the greater availability of healthcare "safety net" providers in urban areas. Residents in rural communities and small towns reported more problems with access to care.

"Rather than a simple count of who has health insurance and who doesn't, we wanted to get a clearer picture of the people behind the statistics," Marianne Udow-Philips, director of the Center for Healthcare Transformation and Research, says in a statement.

The survey was conducted in last August and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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