Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
Since the pandemic started – the country is shifting the way its health care services are provided. Two noticeable changes are a boom in telemedicine and providers using any technological means necessary to provide for their patients. Despite these advancements thousands of people have put off routine care, such as dental visits and annual checkups. During visits to their doctors – patients are often more sick than they realize.
A recent example of this is in Asheville, North Carolina, where patients are being diagnosed with severe illnesses and diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Nurse Practitioner Connie Scripture of Asheville Family Medicine speculates the drop in local wellness checks may be due to fear. One of her patients, Laura Negus, assures her fellow patients, as well as others, that "Everyone's masked, everyone's handwashing. It's very clean, careful. Everyone takes great care to be sterile." In fact, all healthcare offices and hospitals have taken the utmost precautions to protect both their staff and patients.
Although recent data from Rhode Island is hard to come by – there is data stating that Rhode Island has more insured people who go to the doctor than the pre-pandemic national average. 15% of Rhode Islanders have not had a check up during 2018, and only 10% of residents say that they can’t afford care. Young adults from ages 18-34 are most affected by this. There is also a significant proportion of people who report to be in “poor or fair” health.
Rhode Island spends more than the national average on health care, including individual people, groups of people such as workplace insurance programs and state-sponsored insurance programs. Not having any type of health insurance won’t necessarily drive up the cost of health care, but will alleviate out of pocket costs for the insured to get the care they need.
Even though all RIC students' health insurance is covered by the school, students who are Rhode Island residents can visit www.healthy ready.ri.gov to shop for plans. There are representatives on staff to answer your questions. If you are an out of state student, you can find your local healthcare marketplace online, or by talking to someone from campus Health Services.
If you have not seen a doctor in a while, it is highly recommended that you do. Your health may depend on it.