U.S. residents with individual medical insurance are somewhat less likely than members of employer-sponsored plans to get preventive care.
Researchers at the Commonwealth Fund, New York, have published figures on care access in a summary of a 2005 survey of 1,878 U.S. adults ages 18 to 65 who had been covered by private health insurance for at least a year.
The researchers found that many survey participants with private health coverage were happy with the coverage.
About 63% of the participants with individual policies rated their coverage good, very good or excellent.
Individual policyholders and members of employer-sponsored plans gave their plans similar marks for provider choice.
Only 14% of the individual policyholders reported finding that doctors did not accept their coverage, compared with 19% of the members of group plans.
The share of participants who had to contact insurers because the insurers had denied to pay claims or had failed to pay bills promptly was only 24% for individual policyholders, compared with 36% for members of group plans.
The share of participants who had done without specialist care because of insurance problems was only 8% for individual policyholders, compared with 10% for members of group plans.
But researchers also found that individual coverage is expensive and difficult for many U.S. residents to get: 22% of participants with individual coverage said they were paying $3,000 to $5,999 in annual premiums, and 32% said they were paying more than $6,000 per year.