Health Sciences Education Symposium

First Author Information

Christopher Brown, MS, Medical Student, VCU School of Medicine
Colin Reinhart, MS, Graduate Student, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Additional Author(s) Information

Aarshati Shah, BS, Masters of Public Health Student, School of Health Professions, EVMS

Brian Martin, PhD MBA, Associate Professor, Program Director, MPH Program, EVMS

Paul Aravich, PhD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Pathology and Anatomy; Internal Medicine, Division Geriatrics, EVMS

James Etheridge, MS, Medical Student, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Presentation Format


Type of Activity


Original Presentation Date


Date of Submission

May 2017

Abstract/Short Description

Introduction: Homeless individuals bear a disproportionately high burden of disease. Lack of health insurance amongst homeless populations is a significant barrier to healthcare access.

Methods: This study explored barriers and facilitators to health insurance via a survey-format that focused predominantly on attitudes towards health insurance and enrollment assistance.

Results: Majority of respondents endorse a facilitator to guide the enrollment process at their location of healthcare. While 43.8% of participants reported they knew where to go for enrollment assistance, 43.7% did not. 100% of participants agreed that health insurance is important, while only 43.1% were insured.

Conclusion: Distrust regarding facilitation in the previous literature is overstated. Confusion during enrollment process is a merited concern. Data from this study showed that the population prioritizes health insurance. Financial barriers remain significant. This population has overall positive attitude towards health insurance enrollment and facilitation. Low-level outreach is warranted.

Purpose/Research Question

The purpose of this study was to evaluate and explore barriers and facilitators to health insurance amongst an urban homeless population; focusing predominantly on attitudes towards health insurance and enrollment assistance that may inform future enrollment efforts.


To identify barriers to health insurance enrollment amongst homeless individuals.

To identify efficacy of facilitators to health insurance enrollment amongst homeless individuals.

To identify efficacy of facilitator placement for health insurance enrollment.

To gauge receptiveness of homeless individuals in receiving assistance navigating the health insurance enrollment process.


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© The Author(s)

Is Part Of

VCU Medical Education Symposium