A new survey indicates that interruptions in health insurance can have an adverse impact on individuals with pre-existing conditions, particularly diabetes.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center, found that patients with diabetes whose coverage is suspended are less likely to receive the type of treatment needed to address their condition and maintain their health. This finding also applied when patients received free medical care at federally-funded safety clinics.
"Our study shows that patients need continuous health insurance coverage in order to ensure adequate preventive care, even when that care is provided at a reduced cost," said Rachel Gold, lead author and investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center.
The study was based upon approximately 3,400 diabetes patients who received care between 2005 and 2007 and whether they were given four standard services that diabetics often have done, such as a lipid test, a flu vaccine, a blood sugar test and a urine test. On average, 48 percent of patients with continuous coverage received at least three of these tests, while patients with limited or no coverage received "significantly fewer" services.
This study is a testament to the fact that coverage is crucial and insurance customers' well-being often relies upon the security that health insurance brings.