The Impact of Health Insurance Coverage on Native Elder Health: Implications for Addressing the Health Care Needs of Rural Native American Elders

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Examines health insurance coverage and access to healthcare among American Indian and Alaska Native elders (Native elders) -- defined as 55 years or older. Young elders, 55 to 64 years of age, are most likely to be uninsured with one-third reporting having no insurance, while 15% of older elders, 65 years of age and over, report they are uninsured. Uninsured Native elders are about twice as likely as insured Native elders to indicate they have no regular provider. In addition, one out of 10 Native elders report they were not able to get care when they needed it during the preceding 12 months. Reasons cited for not getting healthcare when it was needed included long waiting times, transportation problems, and cost. The authors conclude it is essential to develop policies that address the financial, geographical, and cultural aspects that negatively impact access to culturally appropriate healthcare. Full report available on request by contacting the Center.

Upper Midwest Rural Health Research Center
Alana Knudson, Mary Wakefield, Kyle Muus, Jacque Gray, Leander McDonald, Richard Ludtke, Gestur Davidson