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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Drexel: Researchers Find ACA May Improve Access to Health Care for Children

When compared to non-Latino white children, non-Latino black and Latino children are less likely to have a usual source of health care, more likely to delay care, and their parents are more likely to report financial or insurance issues as barriers.

A new study, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Provider-Related Barriers to Health Care for Children in California After the ACA,” led by Ms. Cinthya K. Alberto, a doctoral student in the department of Health Management and Policy (HMP) at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, investigated whether the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped alleviate disparities in access among children.

“We observed some post-ACA improvements in health insurance coverage among children,” Ms. Alberto says. “Given the contextual factors in California (early Medicaid expansion, coverage for undocumented children), assessing the post-ACA status of racial and ethnic disparities in provider-related barriers in the state was of great interest.”

Using California Health Survey data on children 11 years old and younger, Alberto and fellow researchers Drs. Alex Ortega, Jessie Kemmick Pintor, and Ryan McKenna, also of Dornsife’s HMP department, found that in California’s post-ACA environment there were “no significant racial and ethnic disparities in accessing health care among children. Access to insurance and well-child visits improved across-the-board.” Yet, the study did find that a noticeable proportion of the parents continued to report significant disparities in access between people with public and private insurance vs. people using insurance plans provided by their employers, especially with physicians.

Full study