New York, NY, August 1, 2006 -- Hispanic and African American working-age adults in the U.S. are at greater risk of experiencing gaps in insurance coverage, lacking access to health care, and facing medical debt than white working-age adults, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.
Sixty-two percent of Hispanic adults ages 19 to 64--an estimated 15 million adults--were uninsured at some point during the year, a rate more than three times as high as that for white working-age adults (20%). Uninsured rates for working-age African-American adults are also high, with one-third (33%)--more than 6 million adults--uninsured or experiencing a gap in coverage during the year.
Uninsured rates for low-income Hispanics are exceptionally high: three-quarters (76%) of Hispanic adults with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level had a time uninsured, compared to 44% of African Americans and 46% of whites with low incomes. Disparities persist across income levels--forty percent of Hispanic adults with incomes over 200% of poverty were uninsured during the year, compared to about one-quarter (23%) of African American adults and 12 percent of white adults in that income group.
The report, Health Care Disconnect: Gaps in Coverage and Care for Minority Adults, by Commonwealth Fund researchers Michelle M. Doty and Alyssa Holmgren, analyzes data from the Commonwealth Fund 2005 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
"These findings are extremely troubling, and indicate missed opportunities to ensure a healthy and productive workforce," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Minority Americans face persistent disparities in rates of health care coverage, as well as cost and access barriers to care even when they do have health insurance."
Survey results reveal that a high proportion of Hispanics are disconnected from the health system, and uninsured Hispanic adults are at especially high risk for not gettin
Contact: Mary Mahon