Background. Rural populations in the U.S. face numerous barriers to health care access. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was developed in part to reduce health care access barriers. We report rural women’s access barriers and the PPACA elements that address these barriers as well as potential gaps.

Methods. For this qualitative study, we analyzed two datasets using a common framework. We used content analysis to understand rural, focus group participants’ access barriers prior to PPACA implementation. Subsequently, we analyzed the PPACA text.

Results. Participants described health care access barriers in two domains: availability and eligibility. The PPACA proposes solutions within each domain, including health care workforce training, Medicaid expansion, and employer-based health care provisions. However, in rural settings, access barriers likely persist.

Discussion. While elements of the PPACA address some health care access barriers, additional research and policy development are needed to comprehensively and equitably address persistent access barriers for rural women.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 204-219
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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