Health Policy

Preventive health counseling reported by uninsured women with limited access to care.

Nickel, J.T.; Salsberry, P.J.; Polivka, B.J.; Kuthy, R.A.; Loebs, S.F.; Slack, C.; Shapiro, N.
1998 Aug


Low-income women in the childbearing years are at an increasing risk of becoming uninsured as welfare reforms are enacted and women enter minimum-wage jobs without insurance benefits. This study contrasts preventive counseling reported by low-income uninsured mothers and mothers insured through Medicaid. Low-income women attending Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) clinics and human services offices who had received health care during the previous 12 months (N = 406) were asked if they had received counseling from a health provider regarding any of seven types of preventive health behaviors. Uninsured women were less than half as likely to receive counseling on three or more preventive topics (OR = 0.42) as were mothers on Medicaid. Risk estimates were stable on bivariate analyses and logistic regression models. Findings indicate that opportunities for preventive health counseling need to be maximized for this group already experiencing compromised access to care.