Access to Comprehensive Public Health Services

Public health systems are core resources at the local level. However, some public health departments are more comprehensive and better funded than others.

According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems, in 2020, 49% of the U.S. population was served by a comprehensive public health system, down from 51% in 2018. A decrease would signal a reduction in the number of public health departments that provide comprehensive services; a contraction in the geographic reach of these departments; or a weakening of shared services and collaboration among the governmental and nongovernmental organizations that contribute to the delivery of public health services.

SOURCE: National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems, 2020

  • U.S. POPULATION SERVED BY A COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • U.S. POPULATION SERVED BY A COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM, BY GEOGRAPHY

Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is very important for health care access. Uninsured people receive less medical care and less timely care, they have worse health outcomes, and lack of insurance is a fiscal burden for them and their families.

In 2019, the National Health Interview Survey found that 84% of the nonelderly adult population (ages 18–64) had continuous health insurance, protecting them from health-related financial shocks. This number remained stable from 2018. Notably, there was an improvement in the percent of people who were at least partially covered between 2018 (8.4%) and 2019 (12.4%), and a decrease in those with no coverage all year between 2018 (7.9%) and 2019 (4%). An increase in the number of adults covered by health insurance means that more people have a key component of access to care.

SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019

 

  • LENGTH OF COVERAGE FOR U.S. NONELDERLY ADULTS (18-64 YEARS), IN 2019

  • LENGTH OF COVERAGE FOR U.S. NONELDERLY ADULTS (18-64 YEARS), BY YEAR

Access to Alcohol, Substance Use, or Mental Health Treatment

Comprehensive access to care is an important step to people’s ability to get the substance use and mental health treatments they may need.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2019, 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health or substance use disorder reported receiving treatment in the past year. This use of mental health or substance use disorder treatment has remained about 40% from 2013 to 2019. Racial/ethnic and gender differences in use are notable, with more racial/ethnic minorities and men reporting more unmet treatment need. An increase in this access number would signal improved access to and utilization of needed alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment, allowing people to lead healthier lives.

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • U.S. ADULTS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR REPORTED MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM, BY GENDER

Routine Dental Care

Poor oral health can affect diet, overall physical health, and even job opportunities. Regular dental visits can identify oral health problems early.

According to the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, in 2018, 46% of the U.S. population had any dental care in the previous calendar year. This number has increased 4 percentage points since 2013. Any dental care visits are greater among children and those 65 years and older, as well as those with private dental insurance. While all children covered by Medicaid or SCHIP have dental coverage, only half of adults covered by Medicaid have dental coverage. Only about a third of Black and Hispanic people report any dental care vs. approximately half of White individuals. An increase in the number of people who routinely access any dental care is likely to indicate an improvement in oral health across the population.

SOURCE: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, 2013-2018

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY AGE AND INSURANCE TYPE

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY RACE/ETHNICITY

  • PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION WHO HAD ANY DENTAL CARE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BY FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL