Studying the Effects of Insurance

We were recently emailed two complementary articles:  one says that those with insurance are more likely to seek preventative care, like the flu vaccine.  The second says that those who do not have insurance tend to delay getting medical care.  Not a big shock,right?

The first article, published by HealthDay, also says that the study showed that those with insurance are less likely to take part in more risky behaviors like smoking.  The findings challenge the widespread concern that expanding wellness care coverage to additional men and women might encourage unhealthy behavior that increases health care use and charges, the researchers said.

“The notion that people with insurance coverage will exhibit riskier behavior … has its roots inside the early days in the house insurance industry,” study author Anthony Jerant, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, Davis, stated inside a university news release.

“After acquiring fire insurance coverage, a lot of people wouldn’t manage fire hazards on their home,” he stated. “But overall health care is different. Somebody may not care if their insured warehouse burns down, but most of the people want desperately to avoid illness.”

The researchers analyzed national information on the expenses and uses of health care and found that the use of preventive care increased when folks had overall health insurance coverage and decreased when they have been uninsured.

Insurance status had no effect on risky behaviors for example smoking, weight acquisition and not applying a seat belt, in accordance with the study, which was published within the November-December issue on the Journal of the American Board of Household Medicine.

On the other hand, insurance coverage has an impact on healthy habits, said study co-author Kevin Fiscella, a professor of family medicine in the University of Rochester School of Medicine, in New York.

“These results do show that having health insurance affects the likelihood of receiving important preventive services that can potentially reduce the chance of a flu-related hospitalization or death, and prevent or detect colorectal or cervical cancer,” Fiscella said in the news release.

“This is a critical message, as many states continue to debate whether to expand Medicaid,” he said.

Does this match your experience?

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Please return for Studying the Effects of Insurance, part 2, which will be shared in our next blog post.

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