Objectives: American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have a unique healthcare system uniquely interwoven with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The aim of this study is to document changes in health insurance among AI/AN adults before and after implementation of the ACA. Design: We used data from the American Community Survey from 2008 to 2016 to examine trends in health insurance. We compared to Non-Hispanic Whites and stratified AI/AN adults with and without Indian Health Service (IHS) coverage. We used multivariate regression to evaluate the probability of health insurance post-ACA and included time period and subgroup interaction terms. Results: Public and private health insurance coverage increased post-ACA by 3.17 and 1.24 percentage points, respectively, but the percent uninsured remained high (37.7% of those with IHS coverage and 19.2% of those without). AI/AN in Medicaid Expansion states had a significantly greater percentage point (pp) increase in public insurance (6.31 pp, 95% CI 5.04–7.59) than AI/AN in non-expansion states (p < 0.001). There was a greater increase in private coverage among AI/AN without IHS compared to AI/AN with IHS coverage (p = 0.002). Conclusions: Despite improvements in healthcare insurance coverage for AI/AN, substantial disparities remain. The improvements appeared to be largely driven by Medicaid Expansion. Without specific considerations for AI/AN, future healthcare reforms could intensify health injustices and inequities they face.
- North American
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- United States Indian health Service
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health