Affordable Care Act Impact in Kentucky: Increasing Access, Reducing Disparities
The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) has just released a SHADAC-authored article, “Affordable Care Act in Kentucky: Increasing Access, Reducing Disparities.” The piece was co-authored by SHADAC Director Lynn A. Blewett along with SHADAC researchers Colin Planalp and Giovann Alarcón. The authors used data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to examine changes in uninsurance and uninsurance disparities by race/ethnicity in Kentucky since the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Key Findings: Kentucky’s Uninsured
The authors found that Kentucky’s uninsurance rate for all ages declined significantly between 2013 and 2015, from 14.4% to 6.1%. Among racial/ethnic groups, the largest decline in the uninsurance was experienced by Blacks (from 16.7% uninsured in 2013 to 5.5% in 2015), although uninsurance rates among the state’s White and Hispanic populations also declined significantly (from 13.3% to 5.3% and from 34.5% to 24.2%, respectively). Only the uninsurance rate for Asians remained statistically unchanged between 2013 and 2015.
Key Findings: Disparities
In Kentucky in 2015, coverage disparities among Blacks were eliminated. In 2013, Blacks were overrepresented among the uninsured, accounting for 8.9% of the state’s uninsured while representing a smaller 7.7% of the state’s population. But in 2015, Blacks represented 7.1% of the state’s uninsured, which was not significantly different from their overall proportion of the population in 2015 (7.8%). However, Whites did continue to experience favorable disparities in 2015, being underrepresented among the uninsured, at 74.2%, compared with their share of the population, at 85.4%. Moreover, Kentucky’s Hispanic/Latino population remained overrepresented among the state’s uninsured in 2015, making up 13.0% of the state’s uninsured but only 3.3% of the state’s total population. Asians were also overrepresented among the uninsured in 2015, representing 2.8% of the uninsured but just 1.4% of the population.
Read the full American Journal of Public Health article to learn more about study methods and findings, as well as the role of health policy in reducing disparities.