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Study shows adults with disabilities have challenges with insurance

Lawrence: Expansion of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 improved access to insurance and represented gains in health care for adults with disabilities. But while those gains were documented, what wasn’t known was what challenges still existed in accessing care for that population. A new study from the University of Kansas documents the challenges adults with disabilities still face in accessing health care and offers recommendations to improve care and accessibility.

Researchers in KU’s Institute for Health & Disability Policy Studies conducted interviews with 22 adults with a variety of disabilities and health insurance types about barriers they faced in accessing health care after the expansion of ACA coverage. They found challenges exist in five major areas:

  • Information and understanding of coverage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Prescription medications
  • Provider networks
  • Transportation

“We want to make it clear this is not an indictment of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has expanded coverage for many, but that said, we want to look at what barriers still exist and what can still be improved,” said Jean Hall, institute director and one of the article’s authors.