Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Experiences of Health Insurance among American Indian Elders and Their Health Care Providers.

Authors
  • Jaramillo, Elise Trott1
  • Haozous, Emily A1
  • Willging, Cathleen E1
  • 1 Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health politics, policy and law
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
Volume
47
Issue
3
Pages
351–374
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1215/03616878-9626880
PMID: 34847224
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

American Indian elders have a lower life expectancy than other aging populations in the United States because of inequities in health and in access to health care. To reduce such disparities, the 2010 Affordable Care Act included provisions to increase insurance enrollment among American Indians. Although the Indian Health Service remains underfunded, increases in insured rates have had significant impacts among American Indians and their health care providers. From June 2016 to March 2017, we conducted qualitative interviews with 96 American Indian elders (age 55+) and 47 professionals (including health care providers, outreach workers, public-sector administrators, and tribal leaders) in two southwestern states. Interviews focused on elders' experiences with health care and health insurance. We analyzed transcripts iteratively using open and focused coding techniques. Although tribal health programs have benefitted from insurance payments, the complexities of selecting, qualifying for, and maintaining health insurance are often profoundly alienating and destabilizing for American Indian elders and communities. Findings underscore the inadequacy of health-system reforms based on the expansion of private and individual insurance plans in ameliorating health disparities among American Indian elders. Policy makers must not neglect their responsibility to directly fund health care for American Indians. Copyright © 2022 by Duke University Press.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times