Addressing Health Insurance Literacy Gaps in an Urban African American Population: A Qualitative Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Health insurance and health systems literacy needs are evolving with changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many residents in West Louisville, Kentucky, a predominantly African American community, gained health insurance coverage for the first time. A qualitative study was conducted to assess residents' health insurance and health systems needs and to identify ways of assisting residents with navigating the healthcare system and utilizing their health insurance coverage. Twelve focus groups were conducted with a total of eighty-seven residents. Round one explored participants' experiences with health insurance, and round two examined their health information delivery preferences. An inductive thematic analysis was performed. Participants revealed the complexity of the health insurance system, many citing difficulty understanding health insurance concepts and finding suitable healthcare providers. High costs, mistrust in the healthcare system, and perceived public-private disparities were barriers to effective health insurance utilization. Health insurance materials in their current form have limited value in translating health insurance and health systems information to the West Louisville population. Alternative forms of information delivery, such as locally accessible and culturally competent community health workers may be better received and more successfully utilized by the community.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ali, NM; Combs, RM; Muvuka, B; Ayangeakaa, SD

Published Date

  • December 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1208 - 1216

PubMed ID

  • 29926271

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3610

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10900-018-0541-x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands