The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and utilization of preventive health care services among Asian Americans in Michigan during pre- and post-Affordable Care Act implementation

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Journal of Community Health


Since the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), significant increases in the percent of insured United States residents has steadily increased. Studies have shown that there is an increase in preventative services usage and a decrease in chronic disease burden with increased access to insurance. However, very little has been studied about how the implementation of ACA has impacted utilization of health services and health status among Asian Americans. In this study, we recruited 427 Asian Americans who attended health fairs and examined (1) changes in health care coverage and utilization of preventive health services before and after ACA, (2) health status on chronic disease risk factors, (3) comparing health services utilization by insurance status and types of insurance, and (4) identifying relationships between health care utilization and demographic factors. Study results indicate that even though the percentage of insured Asian Americans in Michigan increased significantly over study periods, health care utilization and chronic disease burden did not change significantly. The insured tended to utilize preventive health services more than the uninsured, but the types of insurance did not affect health care utilization. Gender and having a primary care physician were significant predictors in determining health care utilization. There is a need in this population for language-appropriate and culturally-sensitive education about the importance and availability of preventive services, which could improve adherence to preventive health services, thereby reducing health disparities.

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