Dennis, Amanda, Kelly Blanchard, Denisse Córdova, Britt Wahlin, Jill Clark, Karen Edlund, Jennifer McIntosh, and Lenore Tsikitas. “What Happens to the Women Who Fall through the Cracks of Health Care Reform? Lessons from Massachusetts” 38, no. 2 (2012): 393–419. http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1670:cracksofhealthcarereform&catid=191&Itemid=268&showall=1&limitstart=.
This article explores the impacts of Massachusetts healthcare reform, which intended to increase access to health care for all residents of the state, on low-income women’s utilization of reproductive health services. Bringing a public health lens to the research, the authors systematically reviewed the registration process for state-funded insurance via public websites, interviewed reproductive health service providers, and conducted English- and Spanish-language focus groups with low-income women. Research brought critical attention to aspects of healthcare reform that might prevent low-income women from accessing a comprehensive range of family planning services as they go through changes associated with typical life events (i.e. pregnancy, moving, marriage, graduation, change in employment). Key findings suggest that minors and young women, immigrant women, and women living in rural areas face increased barriers to accessing health services and insurance since healthcare reform. New policy has reduced utilization of free and low-cost family planning clinics, which many low-income women relied on as their primary source for health care.
Geared toward advocates and service providers who work with low-income women, this article highlights some key areas for policy revision in healthcare reform. While findings have immediate implications for Massachusetts, discussion of results t implicates national healthcare reform. This article highlights important guidance for preventing similar effects from healthcare reform in other settings and identifies priorities for revising current practice in Massachusetts.