Health Insurance Disparities among Hispanics in the United States
This paper investigates how the rate of uninsurance seen in Hispanics is affected by the limited proficiency in English (acculturation variable). The rates of uninsurance of Hispanics is almost double the national average for the United States and policy makers have been struggling to develop solutions to address this issue. While the high cost of health insurance is thought to be affecting access to healthcare, it alone does not explain the racial disparities that exist in uninsurance rates. In this paper, I have used the Ordinary Least Squares Regression method to study what factors affect uninsurance among different Hispanic groups. The results indicate that limited English proficiency is a significant factor affecting access to insurance, in addition to other socioeconomic and cultural variables. The results are consistent with the literature supporting that lack of acculturation to US culture and self-employment has a positive effect on the percent of uninsured Hispanics. Furthermore, factors such as income, school attainment and being US native have a negative relationship to the percent of uninsured Hispanics. The results have major policy implications regarding the measures that the government needs to take in order to address the issue of racial disparities in uninsurance rates, including increasing the availability of medical information and services in Spanish.
Content file updated by author on 16 February 2015.
Health; uninsured; Inequality; Hispanics; cultural integration