• Journal Article

Impact of insurance status on access to care and out-of-pocket costs for U.S. individuals with epilepsy

Citation

Halpern, M., Renaud, J., & Vickrey, B. G. (2011). Impact of insurance status on access to care and out-of-pocket costs for U.S. individuals with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 22(3), 483-489. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.07.007

Abstract

We analyzed data from the 2002-2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to assess whether individuals with epilepsy who are uninsured and those who have Medicaid coverage experience differences in medical resource utilization or out-of-pocket costs compared with those having other types of insurance. With sociodemographic characteristics controlled for, uninsured individuals had significantly fewer outpatient visits, fewer visits with neurologists, and greater antiepileptic drug costs than did those with private insurance. Individuals with Medicaid coverage had similar medical resource utilization rates but lower out-of-pocket costs compared with privately insured individuals. These findings indicate substantial barriers to receipt of appropriate medical care for uninsured individuals with epilepsy, but not for those with Medicaid coverage. Future studies should evaluate whether ongoing changes to the US health care system are able to address the differences in care we found among uninsured individuals with epilepsy and should incorporate measures of disease severity and unmet need