Maine people with poor mental health describe significant challenges with affordability and access to health care. A new report released by the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) and the University of Southern Maine, Mental Health Status and Access to Health Care Service for Adults in Maine, describes how adults 18 and older in Maine who report depression and poor mental health have many barriers to getting health care. These results have important implications for planning in a time when major changes in health insurance coverage are expected.
Analyzing data from the ongoing federal/state public health survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Dr. Ziller found that adults in Maine experiencing 14 or more mental health bad days are less likely to have a regular health care provider and more likely to report delays in getting needed health care services (for reasons other than cost). Poorer mental health status was associated with higher rates of foregoing needed medical care because of costs; 25 percent those adults experiencing 14 or more mental health bad days reported they were unable to access needed care from a doctor due to cost compared to 7 percent of adults with no mental health bad days.
MeHAF support allows inclusion of additional questions about access to insurance and health care services in the state’s BRFSS, which surveys a random sample of Maine people throughout the year. Results from the compiled 2012, 2013 and 2014 surveys are included in the report.
For more information on the study design and methodology, please contact Erika Ziller, PhD, (207) 780-4615.
Media contact: Barbara Leonard, President & CEO, (207) 620.8266 x102
Suggested Citation: Ziller EC, Leonard B. Mental Health Status and Access to Health Care Services for Adults in Maine. Augusta, ME: Maine Health Access Foundation and USM Muskie School; February, 2017.
The brief is also available for download on the Maine Health Access Foundation website.