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2 in 10 Ohio adults have delayed getting health care in the past year

Nov 1, 2018

Download the report here and the data tables here.

The Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) is conducted every year to learn more about the health opinions, behaviors and status of Ohio adults. In 2018, OHIP asked Ohio adults several questions about their overall health and access to health care services.

What did OHIP find?

OHIP asked Ohio adults how long it had been since they had visited a health care professional for a routine checkup.1 About 8 in 10 Ohio adults (81%) reported that they had a checkup in the past year. Fewer than 2 in 10 Ohio adults (15%) had a checkup in the past two to five years, and 3% had not had a checkup in the past five years. These percentages were similar to 2017.

Cost is most common reason for delayed care

OHIP asked, “In the past 12 months, was there a time when you personally thought that you needed medical care but did not get it, or delayed getting it?”

About 2 in 10 Ohio adults (18%) reported that they had delayed getting needed medical care at some time in the past year. Adults ages 65 and older (11%) were about half as likely as adults ages 18 to 64 (21%) to delay medical care. These results align with responses to a similar question in
2016, when OHIP asked whether adults had delayed health care specifically due to cost. 

OHIP then asked adults who had delayed medical care what was the most important reason they had done so.2 Respondents could give any answer to this question. Nearly half of these adults (46%) named cost as the main reason that care was delayed. Another 2 in 10 (22%) gave  reasons related to insurance. These adults either had no insurance or their insurance would not pay for treatment. Nearly 2 in 10 adults (16%) named reasons related to scheduling. They were either too busy or the provider did not have an appointment available soon enough. Other respondents said they delayed care because they don’t like doctors (7%), were not sure they needed treatment (4%) or simply did not want to go (6%).

Majority of Ohio adults report good health

Having access to health care can influence overall health. OHIP also asked, “In general, would you say your health is excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?”

About 4 in 10 Ohio adults (44%) said their own health was excellent or very good. Three in 10 (32%) reported good health and about 2 in 10 (24%) reported fair or poor health. The percentage of adults in excellent or very good health has decreased in recent years while the percentage of adults in fair or poor health has increased.

Nationally, about 5 in 10 adults (53%) say their health is excellent or very good. Three in 10 (31%) report good health and about 2 in 10 (17%) report fair or poor health.3 

Why do we ask these questions?

Research has shown that self-reported health is an effective indicator of general well-being. There is a strong link between a person’s self-reported health and their predicted length and quality of life.4 OHIP asks these questions to better understand the overall health of Ohio adults.

One way to maintain good health is to make routine visits to a health care provider. Regular checkups can prevent major health problems or detect them early.5 It is especially important for people with known health issues to get the proper care at the right time.

Despite this, some people do not get medical care when they need it. Understanding the major reasons Ohio adults delay getting medical care can help to prevent this in the future.

What's Happening Now?

One of Interact for Health’s primary focus areas is ensuring access to health care though school-based health centers (SBHCs). Many SBHCs serve the community and can provide health care for families, children and community members who otherwise may not have a medical home. SBHCs can also help children develop healthy routines and relationships with providers from a young age. For more information about Interact for Health’s SBHC work, please visit www.interactforhealth.org/schoolbased-health-centers/.


1. OHIP asked, “About how long has it been since you personally visited a health care professional for a routine checkup?”
2. OHIP asked, “What is the most important reason that you did not get medical care or delayed getting medical care?”
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [Data File]. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/brfss/
brfssprevalence/.
4. DeSalvo, K.B., et al. (2006). Clinical Review: Mortality Prediction with a Single General Self-Rated Health Question. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 21(3), 267-275.
5. Health Equity. (2017, August 02). Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/family/checkup/index.htm.

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