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One in Five Kentucky Adults Put Off Medical Care in 2016 Over Cost

Creative Commons

A new study shows fewer Kentucky adults are delaying or skipping medical care because of cost concerns.

The report from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentuckysays a little more than 20 percent of Kentuckians who are 18 and older put off treatment this year because they couldn’t afford it.

That’s a big improvement over the 32 percent who skipped or delayed medical care in 2009.

“It’s still too high a figure, and we’re still higher than the national average,” said Foundation President and CEO Ben Chandler. “But it’s certainly better than what it was, and it’s a good sign and a step in the right direction.”

Chandler says the increasing number of Kentuckians who have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act has made a big difference. He points out income level is also a big predictor of whether Kentuckians had to put off getting medical care.

“A whole lot more folks—30 percent of low-income folks--delay care, and now only 20 percent of the population as a whole does. So if you’re uninsured, you’re much likely to delay care,” Chandler said.

The study also shows that residents in northern Kentucky and the Lexington area were more likely to have private health coverage compared to the state overall, with eastern Kentucky residents less likely.

Louisville area residents and those living in western Kentucky have rates of private coverage similar to the state average.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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