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New Research Shows Inequality in Access to Health Care

New Research Shows Inequality in Access to Health Care

Health Care Is Out of Reach for Many, Including Young Adults

The Maine Health Access Foundation today released a new research report developed with the University of Southern Maine that found significant inequality in the ability of people in Maine to access quality health care.

The report, which examined data from 2012-14, found that income, age and education are all closely associated with Maine people’s ability to receive appropriate and timely health care.

Among Maine adults 18 and older, those with family incomes less than $25,000 a year, young adults, racial and ethnic minorities and people with less education are much more likely to:

  • Delay seeking health care even when sick;
  • Be unable to afford prescription medication;
  • Lack access to preventative check-ups and screenings or have a regular health care provider.

In addition, the report also found that Maine people, of all income groups, have reported difficulties in paying medical costs.

Our research shows the devastating inequalities in whether people in Maine can get health care,” said Barbara Leonard, president and CEO of the Maine Health Access Foundation. “If you’re young, have a low-income, lack higher education or are a racial or ethnic minority, health care maybe a luxury that you struggle to afford. Many are just one health care crisis away from financial hardship. To make improvements that help people to live better, healthy and happier lives, we have to change the way we approach health care delivery, especially for those facing the greatest barriers to care.”
 
See the full report.
 
About the Maine Health Access Foundation:
The Maine Health Access Foundation's mission is to promote access to quality health care, especially for those who are uninsured and underserved, and improve the health of everyone in Maine.
 
MeHAF works with nonprofit partners and key leaders in the public and private sectors to advance initiatives and policies that particularly help those who face barriers accessing health care services and achieving optimal health. Each year we provide approximately $4 million in grant and program funding to support activities aligned with our mission.

Media Contact:
Barbara Leonard, (207) 620-8266, ext. 102,  bleonard@mehaf.org

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