Experiences with Health Insurance and Health Care in the Context of Welfare Reform

Source: Kimberly Danae Narain and Marian Lisa Katz, Health & Social Work, Advance Access, First published online: September 8, 2016
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From the abstract:
Studies have shown that in the wake of welfare reform there has been a drop in the health insurance coverage and health care utilization of low-income mothers. Using data from 20 telephone interviews, this study explored the health insurance and health care experiences of current and former welfare participants living in Los Angeles County. This study found that half of these women had been uninsured at some point. Many of these lapses in health insurance coverage were linked to employment transitions and lack of knowledge regarding eligibility for different safety net programs. This study also found that satisfaction with access to health care was high among the insured respondents; however, barriers to care remained for many individuals, including appointment scheduling issues, limited scope of health insurance coverage, narrow provider networks, lack of care continuity, and perceived low quality of care. Better linkages between social programs assisting with health insurance coverage and improved knowledge among program clients may reduce health insurance cycling in this group. New rules for Medicaid managed care, currently being considered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have the potential to improve access to health care and the quality of care for these individuals.