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Needed but couldn't afford medical care, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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YBARCARE indicates whether, at any time during the past 12 months, individuals needed medical care but did not get it because they could not afford it. Respondents were told not to include dental care when answering this question.

For 1997 forward, the survey also collected information about whether, at any time during the past twelve months, sample adults and sample children needed but did not get specific types of medical care because they could not afford it. The specific types of medical care foregone for financial reasons that the survey identified were mental health care or counseling (YBARMENTAL, prescription medicines (YBARMEDS), eyeglasses (YBARGLASS), dental care, including check-ups (YBARDENTAL, available for 1999 forward), follow-up care (YBARFOLLOW, available for 2011 forward), and specialist care (YBARSPECL, available for 2011 forward).


This variable is completely comparable over time.

Available for 1993-1996, NOTCARE, which identifies persons who needed medical care or surgery but could not get it at some time during the past 12 months, covers some of the same ground as YBARCARE. However, the question wording for YBARCARE refers specifically to financial barriers to attaining medical care. The question wording for NOTCARE is more inclusive; non-financial reasons such as being "too busy" were also accepted as barriers to attaining medical care or surgery with this variable.


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: All persons.


  • 1997-2018