Health coverage and health literary among adult Hispanics
The news is not good about health insurance coverage and health literacy among adult Hispanics. I have excerpted below from survey results and an overview article in Health Affairs. These findings cast a shadow over the Affordable Care Act and workers’ compensation (in which about a substantial share of injured workers have non-occupational health conditions that need attention to achieve a resolution of the injury).
Low enrollments in health insurance
Thirty-six percent of Hispanic adults reported being uninsured in late 2013, confirming that they are much more likely to lack coverage than other racial or ethnic groups. This rate is triple the rate of uninsurance among whites (12%) and a third higher than blacks and non-white Hispanics (27%) (these figures from the Urban Institute’s report noted below).
Despite the ACA’s coverage expansions, over half of the uninsured Hispanic population (55 percent) reported that they expect to remain uninsured in 2014. (These expectations are not likely due to the immigration status of Hispanics and its effect on eligibility, because uninsured white non-Hispanic and non-white non-Hispanic adults have similar expectations about coverage.)
Overall, the gap in understanding health insurance concepts between nonwhite and Hispanic adults and those who are non-Hispanic white is almost 20 percentage points, with just 27.8 percent of nonwhite or Hispanic respondents saying they feel confident that they understand all nine terms. For each of the nine terms asked about, no more than 60.2 percent of nonwhite or Hispanic adults were either very or somewhat confident in their understanding of it.
Health Affairs, Why Are Hispanics Slow To Enroll In ACA Coverage? March 18 2014 (subscription required.
The Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey January 21, 2014, What Health Insurance Coverage Changes Are the Uninsured Anticipating for 2014?
The Urban Institute, Public Understanding of Basic Health Insurance Concepts on the Eve of Health Reform (late 2013)