Migraine Care Challenges and Strategies in US Uninsured and Underinsured Adults: A Narrative Review, Part 1

Larry Charleston, Jeffrey Royce, Teshamae S. Monteith, Susan W. Broner, Hope L. O'Brien, Salvador L. Manrriquez, Matthew S. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the scope of the problem facing individuals with migraine who are under- or uninsured. In this first of a 2-part narrative review, we will explore migraine epidemiology and the challenges that face this vulnerable population. Background: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has improved access to health care for many individuals who were previously uninsured, but there are many, particularly those of certain demographics, who are at high risk for worse outcomes. Methods: A narrative review was performed after a series of discussions within the Underserved Populations in Headache Medicine Special Interest Section meetings of the American Headache Society. Literature was reviewed for key concepts underpinning conceptual boundaries and a broad overview of the subject matter. Published guidelines, state-specific Medicaid websites, headache quality measurement set, literature review, and expert opinion were used to tailor suggested treatment options and therapeutic strategies. Results: Migraine is common, yet remains underdiagnosed and associated with worse outcomes among those of under-represented backgrounds and those who are underinsured or uninsured. Low socioeconomics may play an important role in the disease progression, characteristics, outcome, and quality of life of patients with migraine and other headache disorders. Other barriers to optimal care include time constraints, lack of access to specialty providers, transportation, and financial limitations. Conclusion: There are many barriers and challenges that affect people with migraine who are underinsured or uninsured, particularly those of under-represented racial backgrounds and of lower socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-511
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • headache
  • health disparities
  • migraine
  • treatments
  • underinsured
  • underserved
  • uninsured

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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