GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS)

, 4:17

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Knowledge of Healthcare Legislation and Use of Preventive Health Services in the Tallahassee-Leon County area of northwest Florida in the United States

  • Victor EnoAffiliated withDepartment of History and Political Science, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in TallahasseeHoward University
  • , Senthilkumar MehalingamAffiliated withFlorida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityState University of New York


Research evidence indicates that racial/ethnic minorities in the United States, including African Americans, have low rates of access to and use of health care, including preventive health services. The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has afforded health insurance coverage and increased access to preventive health services for eligible Americans. Despite the ACA provision of free access to preventive health services, there remains a gap in the use of those services by ethnic minorities. It is not clear whether that gap is due to lack of health insurance or lack of knowledge about the ACA provision. This study examines the extent to which knowledge or familiarity with the Act enhances the use of preventive health services among African Americans in the Tallahassee-Leon County area of northwest Florida. It used primary data collected from a survey conducted during March-April 2012 among a sample of self-identified African American adults in the area. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22 was used for running frequency analysis on the dataset, which indicated that although majority of insured respondents used preventive health services, some of the insured did not use preventive services because they were unfamiliar with the ACA provision of free access to preventive services for insured people. Health promotion and awareness campaigns about the law’s benefits by local and state health departments can enhance the use of preventive services.


Preventive health Affordable Care Act health services utilization health promotion minority healthcare