Medical home plus health insurance can reduce health inequities for low income adults

Low income adults who were part of a medical home and had health insurance had fewer cost-related access problems, were more likely to be up-to-date with preventive screenings, and reported greater satisfaction with the quality of their care, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.

Key findings from the report, which examined findings from Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey include:

 

  • Among low-income adults with health coverage, only 35% of respondents with a medi­cal home reported having cost-related access problems, compared with 50% of respondents without a medical home.  This number is comparable to the number of higher-income adults reporting cost-related access problems, which was 34%.
  • Among low-income adults with health insurance, over half (52%) of respondents with a medical home reported receiving all recommended preventive screen­ings, compared with only 44%  of respondents without a medical home. This is comparable to the number of higher-income adults who reported receiving all recommended preventive screenings, at 59%.
  • 22% of uninsured low-income respondents rated the quality of their care as excellent or very good; this number rose to 35% for low-income adults with health insurance but not a medical home, and rose more to 54% for those with health insurance and a medical home.

 

 

The authors state that along with expanding coverage for low-income adults, it will be important for public and private stakeholders to create opportunities that enhance access to medical homes.

(Sources: The Commonwealth Fund, http://www.commonwealthfund.org/, May 2012)