Access to healthcare for non-elderly adults has declined since the year 2000

Access to healthcare for non-elderly adults has declined over the past decade, according to a study in Health Affairs. 

For the study, researchers examined data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2000 – 2010.

Key findings include:

  • In 2010, nonelderly adults were 66 percent more likely to report that they had unmet medical needs than they were in 2000.
  • In 2010, nonelderly adults were 79 percent more likely to report that they had unmet dental needs compared to 2000.
  • They were also more 4.9 percent more likely to have delayed care because cost in 2010.
  • In contrast, in 2010, children were more likely to have a usual source of care, to have received an office visit, and to have had a dental visit, compared to 2000 levels.

The authors state that the Affordable Care Act, which is aimed at adults ages 19 – 64, should improve access to care for this group, but also suggest that eliminating the law or curtailing the coverage expansion could result in a continued decline of adults’ access to care.

(Sources: Health Affairs, http://content.healthaffairs.org, May 2012; Kaiser Daily Health Policy Project, http://kaiserhealthnews.org, May 7, 2012)