The importance of public coverage in determining access to medical care of low-income adults in Harris County, Texas

Carlos Ramos Gomez -Rejon, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

To understand how the expansion of public health insurance, such as the Affordable Care Act, could impact access to care in the greater Houston area, this study used local survey data to estimate the importance of insurance on access to care among low-income nonelderly adults (19-64). The questions addressed in this study were: (1) what were the differences in access among low-income nonelderly adults with private insurance, Medicaid, Gold Card, or no coverage; and, (2) what was the relative importance of having insurance versus a usual source of care (USC), controlling for other factors, in explaining access differences. Access to care was analyzed using four outcomes: (1) Having a USC; (2) Delaying medications; (3) Delaying seeing a doctor; and (4) Delaying a specialist visit. ^ The results of this analysis show that having public insurance coverage (i.e., Medicaid) or subsidized care (i.e., Gold Card) is not analogous to being uninsured. After controlling for some individual characteristics, when compared to the privately insured, participants in public programs experienced better access than the uninsured did in all measures. Thus, while individuals with public coverage do not enjoy the same access that the privately insured enjoy, public programs reduce disparities.^

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Gomez -Rejon, Carlos Ramos, "The importance of public coverage in determining access to medical care of low-income adults in Harris County, Texas" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3720097.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3720097

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