Individuals with intellectual disabilities are marginalized in the United States and have worse health outcomes than their peers without disabilities. Lower socioeconomic status and a reliance on social welfare benefits and public health insurance programs often create barriers to access to care. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to make healthcare services more accessible. This brief summarizes the findings from a recent study that examined patterns in healthcare affordability under the ACA or noninstitutionalized adults ages 18-64 with intellectual disabilities. The findings suggest that the ACA increased the likelihood that adults with intellectual disabilities would access medical, specialty, dental, and mental health services but did not increase use of care related to eyeglasses and prescription drugs.

Document Type

Policy Brief




Healthcare Policy, Affordable Care Act, Intellectual Disability




Policy Briefs Series


Thank you to Shannon Monnat, Scott Landes, and Alyssa Kirk for their edits on previous versions of this brief.


Disability Studies | Medicine and Health | Sociology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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