• Home
  • Cherry Picked - Researchers will study Affordable Care Act's effects on people with disabilities

Researchers will study Affordable Care Act's effects on people with disabilities

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas researchers are part of a $2.5 million grant project to examine the Affordable Care Act and its effects on the United States’ largest minority population: individuals with disabilities.

The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living, known as CHRIL, will take a five-year look at the ACA, whether it provides insurance to more individuals, how it affects independent living, employment, access to services, employment and other factors. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the project will focus on translating research into knowledge and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

“We were interested in looking at the effects of the ACA on several different populations, but especially on people working age, 18 to 64, because they’re typically the ones who rely on employer-provided insurance,” said Jae Kennedy, professor and chair of Washington State University’s Department of Health Policy and Administration and principal investigator of the grant. “People with chronic conditions were previously locked out of the private insurance market.”

Jean Hall, director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies, a collaboration between the Life Span Institute and the Department of Health Policy and Management at KU Medical Center, and Noelle Kurth, senior research assistant at the LSI, will lead KU’s involvement. They will oversee project 1 of 5, which will examine health insurance outcomes for people with disabilities.

In the first year the KU project will directly assess consumer-reported experiences before and after ACA implementation. To do so, the project will collaborate with the Urban Institute and use data from its Health Reform Monitoring Survey to understand baseline conditions for individuals with disabilities just prior to and shortly after ACA’s implementation. In years two and four, researchers will conduct interviews to more fully document users’ personal experiences. In years three and five, they will conduct a national survey to assess long-term experiences and outcomes.

Through a series of targeted research questions, the program will document the experiences of working-age adults with disabilities in getting and maintaining health insurance and determine the influence of insurance on health care access, community living, employment and integration.

“Using the HRMS data allows us to capture near real-time insights into the ACA experiences of people with disabilities,” Hall said. “Large federal surveys usually have at least a one-year lag between administration and availability of data. That lag is cut to just a few months with the HRMS.”

Additional projects in the collaborative will examine health insurance training and technical assistance needs of Centers of Independent Living, trends in health insurance coverage and health care access for working-age adults with disabilities and costs of health insurance and health care for the same population.

KU researchers will partner with institutional members Washington State University, George Mason University, Independent Living Research Utilization and the Urban Institute.

A major focus of the collaboration will be translating research findings into knowledge relevant constituencies can use. Throughout the five-year project, researchers will prepare a series of webinars, training sessions, fact sheets and presentations on the findings, and how advocates and individuals with disabilities can better navigate the ACA and related services. Researchers will also study how the legislation affects the insurance marketplace and independent living opportunities for working-age individuals with disabilities. For example, researchers will be able to compare results from states that have and have not set up insurance marketplaces and states that have and have not expanded Medicaid.

“The timing, in terms of a natural experiment, of the project is exciting,” Kurth said.“I don’t think anyone has taken a look at the impact of the ACA on this scale, and it is important to study it from the beginning and see how it affects people with disabilities.”

While millions of Americans have gained health insurance through the ACA, there are still approximately 18 million adults age 18 to 64 who are limited or unable to work due to a disability, many of whom don’t have access to employer-based insurance. The same population is much more likely to be in fair to poor health and are more than twice as likely to be below the poverty level, and even though they have less access to care, their average health care expenditures are four to five times higher than individuals without disabilities, CHRIL researchers said.

Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter


Museum Events

Art Cart: Painted Fans
Saturday, January 20 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 317
1301 Mississippi St.
The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art. After traveling the world, Sallie Casey Thayer donated her collection of objects to KU to form what is now the Spencer Museum of Art. Learn about Mrs. Thayer and create a painted folding fan to start your own collection.

Slow Art Sunday: Steel Wool Peignoir
Sunday, January 21 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408
1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In January, get to know Steel Wool Peignoir by Mimi Smith.

Science on Tap: The Cambrian: More than just Trilobites
Wednesday, January 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.
The Cambrian is a time in Earth’s history when many modern animal relatives make their first appearance. It is also a time when many bizarre animals without modern relatives appear in the fossil record. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Julien Kimmig will talk about the diversity of animals during this amazing period and what it can teach us about the future of life on earth. 

Career Close-ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World
Friday, January 26 | 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Auditorium 309
1301 Mississippi St.
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share their experiences, followed by a networking reception and behind-the-scenes tours of KU’s museums. This year’s panelists include: Dina Bennett (Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University), Glenn North (Black Archives of Mid-America), and Adrianne Russell (Cabinet of Curiosities). Advance registration is required at www.spencerart.ku.edu/career-closeups. Please register by January 24. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/476618689399321/
Sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Natural History Museum, University Career Center, and the Museum Studies Program.

Final Friday: Community and Culture Closing Celebration
Friday, January 26 | 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with the Max Kade Center and the Lawrence Opera Theatre, present an evening of 19th-century German-American music and cuisine.

Discovery Day: Celebrating Kansas
Sunday, January 28 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
In honor of Kansas Day, join us for hands-on activities that are all about Kansas wildlife, plants and fossils. 

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture: An Evening with Eve L. Ewing: Poetry in Context
Wednesday, January 31 | 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.
Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist, poet, essayist, artist, and educator whose research focuses on racism, social inequality, urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. Dr. Ewing earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is recognized as a leader and social influencer, especially in conversations involving academia, writing, black women, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. Sponsored by The Commons.

University in the Art Museum for Graduate Students
Thursday, February 1 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
University in the Art Museum introduces graduate students to opportunities for object-based teaching, learning, and research through collaborative partnerships with the Spencer Museum of Art. This workshop includes discussions led by graduate students in the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Geography; and Atmospheric Science. Advance registration is required by Monday, January 29. Register online at https://spencerart.ku.edu/uam.

Extraordinary Animals: Awesome Adaptations
Sunday, February 4 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
At this new monthly animal event, parents and children are invited to learn about animals of Kansas. Museum Animal Specialist Ashley Welton will offer presentations about animal adaptations using touchable specimens from the museums collections at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm. 

FeBREWary at the Watkins
Thursday, February 15 | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with Lawrence Beer Co., presents an evening of beer, food, and knowledge! Enjoy beer and a fascinating talk on brewing provided by Lawrence Beer Co., plus food from local restaurants and an informal museum tour. Tickets are $15 for DCHS members, $20 for non-members. You may sign up online or contact the museum at 785-841-4109. We recommend buying in advance. Ages 21 and over only, please. More information and registration.

Winter Table: An Evening of Herpetology
Wednesday, February 28 | 6:30 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
A celebration of more than 100 years of KU herpetology research programs and the careers of Linda Trueb and Bill Duellman. Explore the Natural History Museum's reptile and amphibian collections and enjoy appetizers and drinks. Dine in the Panorama Gallery with KU herpetology scientists and students conducting reptile and amphibian research across the globe. 

6:30 pm: appetizers, drinks and science salon
7:00 pm: dinner and program
$50 per person 

Reserve your space now at the 2018 Winter Table by ordering tickets online. Tickets are $50 per person. You may also call 785-864-4450 to purchase by phone or you may purchase tickets at the museum lobby during business hours. Questions? Contact biodiversity@ku.edu or 785-864-4450.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times