Adults whose insurance status has recently changed — whether they are the newly insured or recently uninsured — are more likely to use emergency departments than individuals who are continuously insured or uninsured, according to a new report published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine. And a change in insurance status was associated with greater ED use even after adjusting for demographics and socioeconomic status, the report found. The report speculated that newly insured adults may increase use of health care services "that had been previously deferred," while those newly uninsured have less access to acute and primary care services, potentially increasing ED utilization.
Among the specific findings:
- Overall, 20.7 percent of insured adults and 20 percent of uninsured adults include in the survey visited an ED once in the last year.
- Roughly 29.5 percent of newly insured adults participating in the survey had visited an ED in the last year, along with 25.7 percent of newly uninsured adults.
- Meanwhile, only 18.6 continuously insured adults reported one ED visit in the last year.