Missoula Measures - Health Care
- How are we doing
- Doctor visits
- Dental care
- Long-time, no insurance
- Sources of insurance
- Related websites
Why this topic?
Access to medical care is a vital component of a healthy community. Given the high cost of medical services, treatment and screening are often prohibitively expensive for those without health care coverage. While some people may obtain medical treatment through Medicare or other government-sponsored programs, many members of our community — in particular females, young adults, the working poor — have no coverage and do not use medical services because they can’t pay. The consequences of inaccessible health care are serious: wellness care (regular checkups) can prevent many health problems; illnesses relatively inexpensive to treat with early diagnosis may, without medical intervention, escalate to emergency status at great personal and financial cost. Lack of medical services also breeds isolation among people who may already feel alone and abandoned.
As recently as 2010, about 17% of Montana adults reported they were uninsured. (Remember that only 1% of adults 65 and older are uncovered due to Medicare). Missoula’s population is growing, so the number of people without coverage is growing too, even if the percentage remains the same.
However, with implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the percentage of uninsured adults should drop significantly in coming years. The US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Planning and Evaluation branch reports about 50,716 Montanans enrolled in 2014. As of summer of 2014, demographic statistics of these enrollees is limited.
Missoula’s Partnership Health Center, which provides health care to underinsured and uninsured is helping. But many health care needs are going unmet, and health continues to be compromised as a result.
Consistently, since 1991:
15% - 17% of Montanans were without health insurance. By 2011, 20% of Montanans have no health insurance.
Source: Montana BRFSS, 2000
Healthy People 2020 Target
- Proportion of people with some sort of health care insurance - 100%
According to the 2005 Census Bureau Report, nationally, the percent of households with medical insurance, by income level:
|Income||No employer-paid health plan|
Nationally, 15% of the population has no health insurance. In Montana the level of uninsured is 16%, putting Montana in the bottom third of states.
One measure of the benefits of having health insurance is the rate at which pregnant women get health care:
Mt. Vital Statistics
- Between 1995 and 2002, 62% to 64% of Montanans had had a routine check-up in the past year.
- In 2000, 10% of Montanans could not afford to visit a doctor in the past year.
- In 2003, 70% had had their cholesterol checked in the past 5 years.
Healthy People 2020 Target
|Percent who have had blood pressure measured in past 2 years||93||95|
|Percent who have had cholesterol checked in past 5 years||75||82|
The 1997 Missoula BRFS Survey indicated the length of time since currently uninsured Missoulians had had coverage:
- 1–6 months --- 15%
- 6–12 months --- 15%
- 1–2 years --- 9%
- 2–5 years --- 20%
- 5 or more years --- 34%
- Never --- 7%
The Medicaid program accounts for about 15 percent of all health care spending ($188 billion in 1999) and covers 36 million people. It provides coverage for acute medical care, coverage for disabled (including long-term mentally disabled), long-term care for the poor elderly, and Medicare Part B premiums for the poor elderly and disabled.
Sixty-five percent of people enrolled in Medicaid are in the first category, and 65 percent of the money is spent on the 35 percent in the last three categories.
In a nutshell, those who qualify for Medicaid include:
- Low income families
- Supplemental Security Income recipients
- Infants born to Medicaid eligible pregnant women
- Children under age 6
- Pregnant women with an income below 133% of poverty
- Recipients of adoption assistance and foster care