June 1, 2016
Dear Community Member,
I am an assistant professor in Illinois State University's School of Social Work. This letter invites people who have attempted to access healthcare insurance since "Obamacare" was enacted to participate in my research study. The official name for Obamacare is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. I want to find out whether "Obamacare" helps people in Central Illinois get health care when they need it.
Study procedure and time commitment: I want to interview people in Central Illinois about what it has been like to access health care since Obamacare. If you are interested I could schedule a private appointment at a time and place convenient for you, such as a meeting room at the Health Department, United Way McLean County, or ISU. The appointment would take about 10 minutes for a brief questionnaire and about 50 minutes for an interview, a total of about an hour. I would also ask permission to make a follow-up contact of about 10 minutes at the email or phone number you prefer, to check whether I correctly understand your experience.
Voluntary: Your participation in this study would be completely voluntary. Whether or not you participate has NO IMPACT on your healthcare insurance or your access to any health care services. If you agree to participate in the study you may skip any questions, quit the interview, or withdraw consent at any time, without penalty. You will be invited to have the interview audio recorded, but audio recording is not required and consent may be withheld without penalty.
Study Risks: It may be uncomfortable to talk about difficulty with accessing health care. The interviewer is a social worker trained to respond to personal distress. Further, the interviewer can review the list of low-cost Central Illinois health resources included with this letter, if that would be helpful. There may be a risk of confidentiality breach. See the following paragraph for the protections of your identity.
Confidentiality: I will only know your identity if you choose to contact me. Only the interviewer and I will know if you participate in this study. A document you sign to consent to be in the study is the only record I keep of your name. I will assign a number on that document and lock it in a file in my locked office at ISU School of Social Work. All other information will be labeled with the assigned number for member checking. All paper data will be locked in my office. Electronic data will be stored on ISU's secure server and accessed with an ISU password-protected computer. I will only share or publish summarized findings that do not identify any participant.
Study Benefit: Your experiences and those of other people in the area will help me understand what it is like to access to health care in Central Illinois. There may be no immediate benefit to you from the study, but it may benefit our community.
Compensation: You will receive a $10 Target gift card to thank you for your time.
If you have questions or are interested in participating in this study, you may either:
If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact: Illinois State University Research and Ethics and Compliance Office, (309) 438-2529, firstname.lastname@example.org