This research describes uninsurance rates over time among nonelderly adults in the United States with or without frequent physical and mental distress and provides estimates of uninsurance by frequent mental distress status and sociodemographic characteristics nationally and by state.
Data from the 1993 through 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey that uses random-digit dialing, were used to examine the prevalence of uninsurance among nearly 3 million respondents by self-report of frequent physical and frequent mental distress and sociodemographic characteristics, response year, and state of residence.
After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, uninsurance among adults aged 18 to 64 years was markedly higher among those with frequent mental distress only (22.6%) and those with both frequent mental and frequent physical distress (21.8%) than among those with frequent physical distress only (17.7%). The prevalence of uninsurance did not differ markedly between those with only frequent mental distress and those with both frequent mental distress and frequent physical distress. The prevalence of uninsurance among those with frequent mental distress only and those with neither frequent mental distress nor frequent physical distress increased significantly over time.
Uninsurance rates among nonelderly adults with frequent mental distress were disproportionately high. The results of this analysis can be used as baseline data to assess whether implementation of the Affordable Care Act is accompanied by changes in health care access, utilization, and self-reported measures of health, particularly among those with mental illness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Since 2008 Massachusetts has had universal health insurance with an individual mandate. As a result, only about 3% of the population is uninsured. However, patients who use behavioral health services are uninsured at much higher rates. This 2011 study sought to understand reasons for the discrepancy and identify approaches to reduce disenrollment and sustain coverage.
The qualitative study was based on structured interviews and focus groups. Structured interviews were conducted with 15 policy makers, consumer advocates, and chief executive officers of provider organizations, and three focus groups were held with 33 patient volunteers.
The interviews and focus groups identified several disenrollment opportunities, all of which contribute to "churn" (the process by which disenrolled persons who remain eligible are reenrolled in the same or a different plan): missing and incomplete documentation, acute and chronic conditions and long-term disabilities that interfere with a patient's ability to respond to program communications, and lack of awareness among beneficiaries of the consequences of changes that trigger termination and the need to transfer to another program. Although safeguards are built into the system to avoid some disenrollments, the policies and procedures that drive the system are built on a default assumption of ineligibility or disenrollment until the individual establishes eligibility and completes requirements. Practices that can sustain enrollment include real-time Web-based prepopulated enrollment and redetermination processes, redetermination flexibility for designated chronic illnesses, and standardized performance metrics for churn and associated costs.
Changes in the information system infrastructure and in outreach, enrollment, disenrollment, and reenrollment procedures can improve continuity and retention of health insurance coverage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Travellers are an indigenous minority group in Ireland, with poorer life expectancy and health status than the general population. Recent data have shown that Travellers are at increased risk of poor mental health and sequelae from same. We aimed to examine the associations between sociodemographic and lifestyle factors with poor mental health in Irish Travellers. A census survey of all Travellers was undertaken, with 8,492 enumerated families (80% response rate). A random subset of 1,796 adults completed an adult health survey. Traveller peer researchers employed a novel oral-visual computer-aided data collection tool. Frequent mental distress (FMD) was defined as 14 or more days of poor mental health in the preceding 1 month. Prevalence ratios for typical associates of FMD were estimated using a Poisson regression model, adjusted for age and sex. FMD was present in 11.9% of Traveller respondents, and prevalence increased with age. After age and sex adjustment, FMD was more prevalent in those whose quality of life was impaired by physical health, by those who were recently bereaved of a friend or family member, and by those who had greater experiences of discrimination. This study shows that Travellers experience discrimination and bereavement, which negatively influence their mental health. The findings have implications for the mental healthcare needs of indigenous ethnic minorities worldwide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The author begins by reviewing the five key intended actions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-insurance reform, coverage reform, quality reform, performance reform, and Information Technology (IT) reform. This framework provides a basis for examining how populations served and service programs will change at the county and city levels as a result of the ACA, and how provider staff also will change over time as a result of these developments. The author concludes by outlining immediate next steps for county and city programs.
Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation 01/2014; 13(1-2). DOI:10.1080/1536710X.2013.870510
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