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Study: Majority of ER visitors have health insurance

Posted On Thu, May 20, 2010

A new study has found that of the one in five Americans who visit an emergency room each year, most have health insurance of some kind.

The study, by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that approximately 80 percent of all ER visits were by people with health insurance, be it private or through Medicaid.

"In 2007, approximately one in five persons in the U.S. population had one or more emergency department visits in a 12-month period," the report said. "Among the under-65 population, the uninsured were no more likely than the insured to have had at least one emergency department visit in a 12-month period."

The report also found that about 90 percent of ER visits were for urgent cases.

But the study was conducted in 2007, prior to the U.S. adopting a national health care plan. An American College of Emergency Physicians poll found that 61 percent of the 1,800 doctors surveyed believe ER visits will rise thanks to the new plan, and 47 percent say this will further overcrowd emergency rooms already packed with those seeking care. Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the ACEP, told Reuters that having a primary care provider had little effect on the number of ER visits.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19790392-ADNFCR

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