A person with a disability who does not have health insurance uses health care services less than a person who does have insurance. Results from this study showed that adults with disabilities who can not work or keep house contacted physicians almost 20 times a year compared to people not limited in major activities. The latter contacted physicians 3.9 times annually. Uninsured adults unable to perform major life activities have 25% fewer physician contacts than counterparts with insurance. Forgoing physician contact can result in the development of secondary conditions and cause disabilities to become more severe. The uninsured also have fewer hospitalizations than the insured, except for those needing assistance in self care.
Insured and uninsured, once hospitalized, stay in about the same amount of time. Information for the study came from the 1989 National Health Interview Survey and was limited to people under age 65. The age cut off was because Medicare covers expenses at age 65. For more information, contact Disability Statistics Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, University of California-San Francisco, 3333 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118, (415) 502-5210, Web site
This research was supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the U. S. Department of Education. #338
LaPlante, M. P. (1997). Disability, health insurance coverage, and utilization of acute health services in the United States. Disability Statistics Report (4). Laurel Heights, CA: Disability Statistics Rehabilitation Research and Training, University of California.