Access, Use, and Insurance Coverage among American Indians/Alaska Natives and Whites

Journal Article

Access, Use, and Insurance Coverage among American Indians/Alaska Natives and Whites

What Role Does the Indian Health Service Play?

Abstract

This paper uses data from the 1997 and 1999 National Survey of America's Families to compare access and utilization between American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and non-Hispanic whites. We used multivariate regressions to adjust odds ratios for access and utilization and to estimate the effects of the Indian Health Service (IHS). AI/ANs had less insurance coverage and worse access and utilization than whites. However, among the low-income population, AI/ANs with only IHS access fared better than uninsured AI/ANs and as well as insured whites for key measures but received less preventive care. Over half of low-income uninsured AI/ANs do not have access to the IHS. The IHS partially offsets lack of insurance for some uninsured AI/ANs, but important needs were potentially unmet. (American Journal of Public Health 94(1): 5359, January 2004.)

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