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Health Indicator Report of Health Care Access - Unable to Get Care Because of Cost

Lack of health insurance coverage has been associated with increased risk of chronic disease and mortality. People who forgo needed health care services may be more likely to succumb to preventable illnesses and to suffer complications from those illnesses, and possibly be more likely to die prematurely.


Question text: Was there a time in the past 12 months when you needed to see a doctor but could not because of cost?.   2005-2011 U.S. values are from the [ WEAT] tool. 2012 U.S. value is from the national codebook and do not exclude don't know and refused responses from the denominator. The 2013 U.S. value is from the national CDC, BRFSS prevalence and trends calculator.

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


The percentage of New Mexicans who are unable to get needed care because of cost at the time of the survey.


Number of persons in the survey sample who were in the given category (e.g., unable to get needed care because of cost or able to get care because of cost) at the time of the survey.


Total number of persons in the survey sample who responded to the question.

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of adults who could not get health care due to cost decreased from 19.2% in 2011 to 13.8% 2017.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The percentage of adults who could not get health care due to cost was higher in New Mexico than in the U.S. New Mexico ranked 34th among all states (Iowa ranked #1 with only 7.9% unable to get needed care, and Texas ranked #50 with 19.6%).

What Is Being Done?

New Mexico has benefited from the Affordable Care Act and our state's use of federal Medicaid incentives to get more New Mexicans covered by health insurance.

Available Services

The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, BeWellNM, is the official New Mexico State marketplace for health insurance under Obamacare. You can use BeWellNM to apply for cost-assistance, compare prices of plans, change plans, and enroll in a plan that best suits you, your family, or your small business. Visit the [ BeWellNM] website for more information.
Page Content Updated On 03/22/2019, Published on 03/22/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 24 October 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:39:42 MDT