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

LAWRENCE, Kansas — 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.”

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