Center for Health Policy

How Primary Care Can Handle 15 Million Newly Insured Patients

A major concern that has been raised about millions of newly insured patients entering the healthcare system has been the strain on primary care. How will our primary care system handle so many new patients? First, it is important to recognize that the uninsured already use the healthcare system, typically at about 50% of their need. So, that means for every 100 newly insured patients, it is like adding 50 patients into the primary care system. Still, that number will be quite large, especially for certain areas of the country that have a severe shortage of primary care providers.

This article in the Atlantic details many different innovations that are in the “experimentation” stage. The takeaway is that this challenge of caring for newly insured patients represents an opportunity to transform our healthcare system from one that reactively provides sick care to one that proactively provides ‘health’ care.

Four companies to compete for the uninsured in Nebraska

The federally run health insurance marketplace that will begin operation October 1 in Nebraska will likely have at least 4 insurers. The companies are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, which already has the biggest share of the state’s health insurance market; Coventry Health Care of Bethesda, Md., which already competes in Nebraska; CoOportunity, the cooperative health care provider in Iowa and Nebraska that was created with financing from the federal government; and Health Alliance Midwest Inc., a managed care company from Urbana, Ill.

Uninsureds Climb to Record High in Nebraska

A UNMC study has found that the number of uninsured people under the age of 65 in Nebraska increased by 67.4 percent between 2000 and 2010. The study determined that the number of uninsureds has increased from 8.9 percent (156,300 people) in 2000 to 14.9 percent (217,100 people) in 2010.