What happens to the women who fall through the cracks of health care reform? Lessons from Massachusetts
Dennis A, Blanchard K, Cordova D, Wahlin B, Clark J, Edlund K, McIntosh J, Tsikitas L. What happens to the women who fall through the cracks of health care reform? Lessons from Massachusetts. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. April 2013 ; 38(2):393-419.
We investigated the impact of Massachusetts health care reform on low-income women's experiences accessing insurance and health services, specifically reproductive health services such as contraception. Our findings suggest that concentrated efforts are needed to make sure that health services are available and accessible to populations who fall through the cracks of health care reform, including immigrants, minors and young adults, and women living outside urban areas. In addition, systems changes are needed to ensure that women going through common life transitions, such as pregnancy, marriage, moving, or graduating from school, have continuous access to insurance, and therefore health services, as their lives change. These groups face barriers enrolling in and maintaining their insurance coverage as well as obtaining timely health care benefits they are eligible for through their insurance benefits or public health programs. Without intervention, many in these groups may delay or avoid seeking health care altogether, which may increase health care disparities in the long term. Family planning providers in Massachusetts have played a critical role in mitigating barriers to insurance and health care. However, recent threats to defund family planning providers call into question the ability of these providers to continue providing much-needed services.