People who lack a regular source of health care may not receive the proper medical services when they need them. This can lead to missed diagnoses, untreated conditions, and adverse health outcomes. People without a regular source of health care are less likely to get routine checkups and screenings. When they become ill, they generally delay seeking treatment until the condition is more advanced and therefore more difficult and costly to treat. Young children and elderly adults are most likely to have a usual source of care, whereas adults aged 18 to 64 years are the least likely. Maintaining regular contact with a health care provider is especially difficult for low-income people who are less likely to have health insurance. This often results in emergency room visits, which raises overall costs and lessens the continuity of care.
This indicator shows the percentage of adults that report having one or more persons they think of as their personal doctor or health care provider.