US research: dental and vision care essential

 

Findings show that 6% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) commercially insured members (3.7 million), experience serious enough dental conditions to generate medical insurance claims. People with complex dental conditions are 25% more likely to suffer from heart disease and are likely to also have autoimmune disorders, anaemia, gastro-intestinal disorders or renal disease. They are twice as likely to visit the emergency room, compared to those who have not made a medical claim for a severe dental condition. Members with these dental conditions have around two fewer years of healthy life, according to the BCBS Health Index.

5.6 million BCBS members (8%) suffer from severe eye conditions that generate medical claims. People with serious vision issues are twice as likely to visit the emergency room as those who have not made a severe vision medical claim, and are more likely to suffer from autoimmune disease, stroke, renal failure or diabetes. Members with these conditions have more than two fewer years of healthy life, according to the BCBS Health Index.

The BCBS Health Index is a first-of-its-kind measurement of health for nearly every county in America. It encompasses more than 200 conditions that impact health and identifies those health conditions with the greatest impact on the insured population. The Index is powered by de-identified medical claims data from 41 million commercially insured members of BCBS companies. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.

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