267859 Translating access into utilization: Lessons from the design and evaluation of an online resource to expand health insurance coverage and promote reproductive health care for young women in Massachusetts

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Elizabeth Rhodes, MS , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Elizabeth Janiak, MA, MS , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
K. Viswanath, PhD , Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Lindsay E. Rosenfeld, PhD , Institute on Child, Youth, and Family Policy, Brandeis University The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Waltham, MA
Angel M. Foster, DPhil, MD, AM , Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa & Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA
Lack of insurance coverage and/or high costs are associated with contraceptive discontinuation and low utilization of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among women in the US. In the wake of national-level healthcare reform hope remains high that greater access to insurance will lead to greater care utilization. However, any improvement in care utilization relies on women being able to understand information about the coverage of SRH services within available health plans and to obtain health insurance that meets their SRH needs. Prior studies have demonstrated that health insurance plan information is often written at a reading grade level far exceeding the literacy skills of the average US adult. Following the implementation of state-level healthcare reform in Massachusetts, a statewide stakeholder coalition found that young women in need of SRH services had difficulty understanding the different types of health plans available and what contraceptive and other SRH services their plans covered. In response, this coalition created an insurance information website specifically targeting young adults seeking SRH services. We performed a rigorous, mixed-methods evaluation of this site using validated assessment methods from the field of health communications, including a literacy demands assessment and qualitative usability interviews with women in the targeted end user population, the latter conducted in a laboratory setting. Our study provides an example of how to develop and evaluate internet-based health insurance resources as well as important lessons for other states ramping up for health reform implementation.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
design online resources to help young adults obtain health insurance coverage that meets their sexual and reproductive health needs evaluate online health insurance resources targeting young adults seeking sexual and reproductive health services

Keywords: Health Care Utilization, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-principal investigator of the project. I have experience developing and evaluating websites, including CDC websites, and developing health resources that are accessible to individuals of all health literacy levels. My scientific interests and public health work focus on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health among women and girls in the US. At the Harvard School of Public Health, I concentrated in Maternal and Child Health and Health Communication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.