This avoidance of the doctor’s office results in greater reliance on urgent care and emergency rooms, particularly among lower-income individuals. (Photo: Shutterstock)

One of the essential coverage elements included in the Affordable Care Act was a requirement that insurers cover an annual physical with no cost-sharing for the consumer. Despite this “carrot” to encourage Americans to engage in preventive health care, nearly 1 in 5 Americans haven’t been to a doctor in more than 5 years, according to a recent survey from

The survey results highlight the range of challenges Americans face with our health care system, including affordability, access and trust. Among survey respondents, 23% express mistrust or are unsure if they can trust their primary care provider–a number that increases among Black and Hispanic populations. What’s not to trust? According to, recommending unnecessary procedures topped the list (30%), followed by rudeness (24%) and public perception (22%).

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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