• Identifying Barriers to Enrollment of Diverse Populations in Arizona Following the Initial Open Enrollment Period of the Affordable Care Act

      Moseley, Joseph; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; VanPelt, Kim (The University of Arizona., 2017-06-06)
      While it is known that over 266,000 Arizonans enrolled in health coverage through the federal Marketplace and Medicaid from October 2013 through May 2014, little analysis has been performed to examine whether enrollment by diverse racial and ethnic groups sufficiently reduced disparities in coverage. We obtained publicly available data from the Census Bureau comparing rates of uninsured by race/ethnicity from 2013 to 2014 in Arizona from the American Community Survey. The uninsured rate in Arizona for the total civilian no institutionalized population dropped from 17% in 2013 to 13.6% in 2014. The uninsured rate in Arizona for whites declined from 15.7% to 12.2%, for African Americans declined from 17.4% to 11.1%, for American Indian/Alaskan Natives declined from 26.9% to 24.1%, for Asian Americans declined from 15.1% to 11.0% and for Hispanic/Latino declined from 27.5% to 22.2%. We conducted interviews with nine community organizations in order to identify barriers that must be addressed moving forward to lessen insurance coverage disparities among various minority groups. Technological literacy and functionality, lack of funding, lack of personnel, physical vastness of many populations, language, and cultural differences were commonly identified as barriers to enrollment. Mistrust of government and confusion regarding the specific provisions within the ACA pertaining to Native individuals were also cited.