Hispanics Workers Least Likely To Have Health Insurance Coverage, Study Finds
Hispanic workers are the least likely of all ethnic groups to have health insurance, according to a report released Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, the Denver Post reports (Austin, Denver Post, 10/16). According to the report:
- About 45% of Hispanics under age 65 were uninsured for all or part of 2000.
- About 65% of working-age Hispanics with low incomes were uninsured for all or part of 2000.
- About 44% of Hispanic children in low-income families were uninsured for all or part of the year, compared with about 33% of all U.S. children in low-income families.
- About 61% of Hispanics ages 50-64 were uninsured for all or part of the year, compared with about 41% of all U.S. residents in that age group.
- About 25% of Hispanics ages 50-64 went without needed care -- such as prescription drugs, medical tests, treatment or follow-up -- because they could not cover the cost.
In related news, Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said at a conference on Wednesday that recent U.S. Census Bureau figures showing that 43.6 million U.S. residents were uninsured in 2002 are too low because they measure only those who were uninsured at the time the census was taken, CongressDaily/AM reports (CongressDaily/AM, 10/16). The census report, released last month, said the number of U.S. residents who did not have health insurance in 2002 increased by 2.4 million, or 5.8%, over 2001 estimates -- the fastest rate of increase in a decade. The percentage of U.S. residents who did not have health insurance in 2002 was 15.2%, compared with 14.6% in 2001, according to the report. The report also found that in 2002, the number of U.S. residents with employer-sponsored health insurance decreased by 1.3 million to 175.3 million, or 61.3% of U.S. residents, from 62.6% of U.S. residents in 2001 (California Healthline, 9/30). Pollack said that if the report had counted people who were uninsured for any part of 2001 and 2002, it would have shown that "many more people are uninsured -- 74.7 million over 2001 and 2002." Stuart Butler, vice president of domestic and economic policy studies for the Heritage Foundation, said at the conference that Congress should "enact a refundable ... health care tax credit to help families who lack affordable health insurance." The conference was sponsored by the New America Foundation (CongressDaily/AM, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.