Cover Michigan Survey: Use of Health Care Benefits in Michigan

November 6, 2018

Data from the Center for Health and Research Transformation’s (CHRT) 2018 Cover Michigan Survey show health benefits that Michiganders with health insurance coverage have used in the past year (1)Survey participants were asked whether or not they or other family members covered by their plans used each health care benefit in the past 12 months.. Detail on the Cover Michigan Survey and analysis methodology can be found on CHRT’s website. In addition to findings on overall use of health care benefits, this brief focuses on three key areas: dental and vision, reproductive health, and mental health care.

Nearly all Michiganders used some kind of health benefit over the last year. To understand differences in the use of health care benefits, several variables were examined by demographics including gender, age, race, insurance type, income, and employment status.

  • Preventive care: The highest utilized benefit was routine, preventive primary care This was consistent across all groups.
  • Dental and vision care: There is high use of these benefits even though they are not generally core offerings of most insurance
  • Reproductive health care: Michigan women, especially younger women, use these health benefits at a significantly higher rate than men and older women. Reproductive health care represents 11 percent of younger women’s health care utilization.
  • Mental health care: Younger women and people who are unemployed reported significantly higher use of their mental health care or substance use treatment coverage.

Other findings include:

  • Aside from dental and inpatient care, women consistently utilized more health care benefits than men.
  • African Americans were the least likely to visit a doctor and use vision care benefits compared to other races, while white Michiganders were the most likely to use inpatient services.
  • Regardless of insurance type, respondents use doctor visits at similar rates, however those with employer-provided insurance were the most likely to use dental care health benefits.
  • Medicaid beneficiaries had the highest utilization of pediatric care, contraceptive/family planning, mental health/substance use, and maternity/newborn care benefits; and Medicare beneficiaries made the most use of the prescription drug benefit. These differences are likely due to the unique populations that make up membership in these plans.
  • Compared to those with lower household income, Michiganders with incomes of $50,000 or more per year were far more likely to use dental care, doctor visits, and vision benefits.
  • The unemployed population was more likely to use inpatient care, mental health/substance abuse services, and maternity/newborn care than those who are working or in school.



1 Survey participants were asked whether or not they or other family members covered by their plans used each health care benefit in the past 12 months.