Impact of Medicare Coverage on Basic Clinical Services for Previously Uninsured Adults

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Gaining access to Medicare coverage substantially improves use of preventive health services such as cancer and cholesterol screening among previously uninsured older adults, according to Harvard Medical School researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Their findings suggest that if there were affordable options through which uninsured adults approaching age 65 could purchase Medicare coverage, they would likely take advantage of more clinical services.

In "Impact of Medicare Coverage on Basic Clinical Services for Previously Uninsured Adults" (JAMA, August 13), J. Michael McWilliams, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ellen Meara, and John Z. Ayanian of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital explore the effect that gaining Medicare coverage has on insured and uninsured adults. Previous studies demonstrated a correlation between loss of insurance and adverse health effects, but few have studied people who gain or lose insurance over time. Prior studies also have not assessed whether becoming insured affects whether people seek out specific clinical services.

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Publication Details

Publication Date:
August 1, 2003
Authors:
J. Michael McWilliams, M.D., Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ph.D., Ellen Meara, Ph.D., et al.
Citation:

"Impact of Medicare Coverage on Basic Clinical Services for Previously Uninsured Adults," J. Michael McWilliams, M.D., Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ph.D., Ellen Meara, Ph.D., et al., JAMA 290 (August 2003): 757–64