This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

September 19, 2007

Higher Costs, Worse Outcomes for Previously Uninsured Medicare Beneficiaries

Research published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the importance of having health insurance coverage—not only for ensuring access to needed care, but also for controlling overall health care costs and promoting good health outcomes.
The Commonwealth Fund-supported study, Use of Health Services by Previously Uninsured Medicare Beneficiaries, found that among U.S. adults ages 59 to 64 who had been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke, those lacking insurance coverage had much higher medical costs—51 percent higher—after becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65, compared to those with insurance coverage.

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