Barriers to Medicaid enrollment: who is at risk?

Am J Public Health. 2005 Feb;95(2):292-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2002.006254.


Objectives: We identified factors associated with levels of knowledge about Medicaid eligibility rules and perceived Medicaid enrollment barriers.

Methods: Community health center patients who were parents of children potentially eligible for Medicaid (n=901) were interviewed in person during their clinic visit between April and December 1999.

Results: Individuals reporting physical health problems were more likely to be misinformed as were non-Hispanic Black individuals, compared with non-Hispanic White individuals. In states where more policies had been enacted to simplify Medicaid enrollment procedures, individuals were less likely to be misinformed. Individuals reporting mental health problems, those with less education, and women were more likely to perceive Medicaid enrollment barriers. Prior experience in Medicaid was associated with both a reduced risk of perceiving Medicaid enrollment barriers and being misinformed.

Conclusions: Findings highlight target groups for whom additional outreach and additional simplification policies may be most needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eligibility Determination / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Male
  • Medicaid / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Parents / education*
  • State Health Plans / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States