More Than One-Third of U.S. Latinos Lacked Health Insurance in 2004, Study Finds
More than one-third of the U.S. Latino population in 2004 lacked health insurance, and about one-fourth received coverage only through public health insurance programs, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, CQ HealthBeat reports. According to the study, which used data from the 2004 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted by AHRQ to assess the number of U.S. residents who lacked health insurance at some time in the first part of 2004, Latinos comprised 15% of the population but accounted for 29% of uninsured residents and 36% of uninsured children younger than age 18.
The study also found:
- About one in seven whites lacked health insurance in 2004, and 10% received coverage only through public health insurance programs;
- Whites comprised 65% of the population but accounted for less than half of uninsured residents in 2004;
- About one in five blacks lacked health insurance in 2004, and 28% received coverage only through public health insurance programs;
- About 64% of workers in private companies with 50 or more employees participated in employer-sponsored health insurance plans in 2003;
- 82% of workers in the mining and manufacturing industry participated in employer-sponsored health plans in 2003, compared with 41% of those in "other service industries"; and
- Workers, on average, contributed $627 annually toward health insurance premiums for single coverage and $2,242 for coverage for a family of four in 2003, although contribution amounts varied by industry.
AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy said, "These results confirm the urgency of identifying effective policies to expand access to care for all Americans, particularly Hispanics" (CQ HealthBeat, 8/11).
The study is available online. 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.