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Commentary
August 24/31, 2011

Insurance Expansion and Health Literacy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia (Dr Martin); Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Parker).

JAMA. 2011;306(8):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1212

Over the next 3 years, state and local officials will be responsible for reaching out to and enrolling more than 30 million individuals in publicly funded or subsidized health plans offered through state insurance exchanges. Because low health literacy tends to be more prevalent in certain minority groups and among those with low income and education, the majority of the newly eligible individuals are likely to have low health literacy.1 Failure to meet enrollment goals will not only undermine the credibility and success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) but, more importantly, will do little to expand health insurance coverage and improve access to care among those at greatest need.

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