This research examined rural-urban (i.e.,
non-metropolitan/metropolitan) differences in
affordability inclusive of insurance coverage and cost
barriers. The research also examined forgoing medical
care/medication and medical debt using Behavioral Risk
Factor Surveillance System survey data from the
healthcare access optional module.
Non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black adults ages
18-64 living in non-metropolitan areas had lower health
insurance rates than their metropolitan counterparts.
Among non-metropolitan individuals, insurance
coverage varied across racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic
adults had the lowest health insurance rates.
Non-Hispanic Black individuals reported higher levels
of forgoing medical care due to cost (18.3% metropolitan
and 22.5% non-metropolitan) compared to their White
counterparts (13.3% metropolitan and 13.7%
Non-metropolitan individuals ages 18-64 were more
likely to report forgoing medication due to cost (11.3%)
than metropolitan individuals (9.4%).
A larger proportion of non-metropolitan individuals
(24.0%) reported having medical bills they were paying
off over time than those living in metropolitan (20.8%) areas.
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Whitney Zahnd, Radhika Ranganathan, Elizabeth Crouch, Peiyin Hung, Jan Eberth, Gabriel Benavidez