Health Care Access and Coverage
Goal: All residents of Bay County will have increased access to quality health care.
The percentage of people who responded in the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (2008-2010) to have no health care coverage (18-64 years of age); percentage of people who have no health care provider; and those who had no health care access during past 12 months due to cost. Second, the percentage of non-elderly persons (18-64 years of age) who are uninsured (2009 American Community Survey) in Bay County.
Why This Indicator is Important
Having health insurance is important because coverage helps people get timely medical care and improves their lives and health. Some may believe that people always have access to medical care because they can always go to an emergency room. But even areas with well-supported safety net care do not remove barriers to access to the same extent as does having health insurance. According to research, uninsured people receive less medical care and less timely care; have worse health outcomes; lack of insurance is a fiscal burden for uninsured people and their families; benefits of expanding coverage outweigh the costs for added services; and although safety-net care from hospitals and clinics improves access to care it does not fully substitute for health insurance.