Dr. Angela Palmer-Wackerly
Dr. Kristen Hoerl
Dr. Jordan Soliz
Date of this Version
Baker, J. T. (2019). Contextualizing transgender individuals' discourses about health insurance. Master's thesis, Department of Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2019.
Transgender individuals face a variety of disparate health outcomes compared to cisgender individuals within the United States. Additionally, 23% to 52% of transgender individuals do not have health insurance, meaning transgender individuals are two to five times more likely than the general population to lack access to health insurance coverage. Extant research typically treats health insurance as a quantitative (yes/no) variable; thus, we do not know what (not) having insurance contextually means for transgender individuals. The current study addresses this gap by privileging the voices of 17 transgender individuals through in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Using the Culture-Centered Approach (CCA), I conducted a constructivist grounded theory analysis to identify three key themes: Including/Excluding Transgender Health Needs in Health Insurance Structures (conditions), Advocating Against and Resisting Structural Insurance Barriers (actions/interactions), and Compromised Health Decision Making (consequences). I then lay out theoretical implications for Health Communication and systematic change, and practical implications for patient-centered advocacy.
Advisor: Angela Palmer-Wackerly