Gaps in Timely Access to Care Among Workers by Disability Status

Gaps in Timely Access to Care Among Workers by Disability Status

Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Reforms Change the Landscape?
Published: Mar 01, 2016
Publisher: Journal of Disability Policy Studies, vol. 26, no. 4
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Associated Project

Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center

Time frame: 2010-2015

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Authors

Gina A. Livermore

Key Findings

Key Finding:

The authors find significantly higher rates of reported difficulties accessing timely health care for cost-related and structural reasons among employed adults with self-reported health conditions limiting the ability to work than among their non-work-limited peers, even after controlling for personal characteristics and health insurance coverage. The findings suggest that although the ACA will improve access to health insurance, it remains to be seen whether it will substantially reduce the likelihood that workers with disabilities will experience barriers to health care access relative to their non-disabled peers.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is important for workers with a disability because of their significant health care needs, relatively low incomes, and the complex interactions among work, federal disability benefits, and eligibility for public health insurance. Using data from the 2006–2010 National Health Interview Surveys, the study documents the characteristics and health insurance of workers with disabilities and considers how they relate to adequate and timely health care access. The study found significantly higher rates of reported difficulties accessing health care among employed adults with disabilities relative to their peers without disabilities, after controlling for personal characteristics and health insurance coverage. The findings suggest that although the ACA will improve access to health insurance, it is uncertain whether it will substantially reduce the likelihood that workers with disabilities experience barriers to health care access

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