Access to Health Care: Elderly

Across the globe, the population of adults over the age of 65 is increasing. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 (who begin turning age 65 in 2011), will accelerate this growth. One of the greatest barriers to health care access in the United States is lack of adequate insurance coverage. The Medicare public insurance safety net system was put in place to ensure that older Americans had coverage because of their restricted employment opportunities and the high cost of individual health insurance policies for people with preexisting conditions. As such, the barriers to health care among elderly adults are less about insurance and more about functional health status, proximity to physicians and specialists, and a shortage of specialists in geriatric medicine. This entry focuses ...

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