Purpose: This study examines health care coverage and health care among rural, drug-involved female offenders under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) compared with pre-ACA and whether being insured is associated with having a usual source of care.
Methods: This study involved random selection, screening, and face-to-face interviews with drug-using women in three rural Appalachian jails. Analyses focused on participants who had completed a three-month follow-up interview after release from jail (N=371).
Results: Analyses indicated that women released after ACA implementation were more likely than those released pre-implementation to be insured. A multivariate logistic regression model showed that being insured was significantly related to having a usual health care source during community re-entry.
Conclusions: Results demonstrate the benefits of the ACA, signaling important implications for public health in rural communities and the criminal justice system, including targeting underserved groups during incarceration and providing information about and resources for health care enrollment.