Although health insurance gains are documented, little is known about personal experiences of adults with disabilities in accessing health care after coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014. We interviewed 22 adults across the U.S. with a variety of disabilities and health insurance types to document remaining barriers to health care after ACA coverage expansions. Telephone interviews were conducted from May to August 2017. Participants were recruited via disability-related organizations and were demographically and geographically diverse. Content analysis of interview transcripts was used to identify major themes related to accessing health care.Read More
In an effort to make information about healthcare, health reform, and people with disabilities more available and accessible, we have developed the following chartbook about the healthcare utilization and expenditures of working-age people with and without disabilities. These results are presented with minimal interpretation and you are welcome to use them with attribution.Read More
The United States is in the midst of a deadly opioid epidemic. About 11.8 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2016. About 42,249 died from an opioid overdose. Adults with disabilities are much more likely to report constant pain than others. Because of this, they are more likely to use and depend on prescription pain medication. The risk of herion use is higher in adults who use prescription opioids for other than pain relief. It is important to look at misuse of legal and illegal opioids at the same time.
This study looks at working-age adults (18-64) with and without disabilities. It compares the frequency of and treatment of opioid misuse.Read More
According to recent studies, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved access to health care and health insurance in the United States. Parts of the law say that insurers must cover people with pre-existing conditions. They also say that insurance must cover mental health services. Under the ACA, some states also chose to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more people.
Our study looked at the impact of the ACA and Medicaid expansion on health insurance coverage, access to health care, and employment for people with mental health conditions.Read More
Women with disabilities are not as likely to become pregnant as women without disabilities. This study looks at how women with disabilities make decisions about pregnancy. Four focus groups were held with 22 women of child-bearing age. Most of the women wanted to become mothers, but they had concerns about becoming pregnant. Three things affected their decision: 1) how important it was to them to have a child, 2) whether it was possible for them to become pregnant, and 3) the costs of having and raising a child.
The study showed that it is more than the medical issues around having a child that are important to a woman. When they discuss pregnancy with a woman with a disability, health care providers should also talk about social and personal factors. By talking about all her concerns, health care providers can help a woman with a disability to make a decision that is in line with her values and desires.Read More
The study shows that after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of adults with disabilities who had private health insurance rose slightly, from about 33.9% in 2013 to 36.6% by 2015. However, in 2015, adults with disabilities were still over four times more likely to receive public insurance (54.7%) than those without disabilities (12.5%). The data also shows that adults with disabilities are more likely to delay or not receive medical care due to cost as compared to adults without disabilities. Working-age adults with disabilities also reported more hospital stays and more office visits than adults without disabilities. This also may result in higher out-of-pocket costs and delayed treatment for adults with disabilities.Read More