Affordable Care Act; uninsured; child; young adult


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, community outreach to increase health insurance enrollment of young adults and children in low-income families of color has been a priority in Wayne County, Michigan. Our objective was to inform community efforts for improved outreach, we explored perceptions around the importance of health insurance and barriers to enrollment for children and young adults through a qualitative research study. We conducted a focus group with enrollment assisters and nine focus groups with Arab American, Latino/Hispanic, and African American community members. Several themes emerged about community members’ perceptions and experiences: they believe that children have time sensitive and specific health needs; they appreciate the generous, public health insurance options available for children; they experience frustration with the affordability of enrolling dependents in private insurance; young adults experience frequent denials and failures with insurance enrollment; and they experience confusion about how insurance eligibility changes during the young adulthood. There is a need for community outreach in Wayne County to focus on connecting low-income, working families to affordable health insurance options and tailoring help to young adults to overcome barriers to enrollment in public insurance.