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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Health Insurance and Health Care

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Publication Date: April 2000

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): E. Richard Brown; Victoria D. Ojeda; Roberta Wyn; Rebecca Levan

Funder(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Funder(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for minorities)

Keywords: disparities; health insurance; racial minorities

Type: Report

Coverage: California


Racial and ethnic groups in the United States continue to experience major disparities in health status. Compared to the majority non-Latino white (or “white,” for brevity) population, racial and ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of mortality and morbidity across a wide range of health conditions. These disparities in health status are compounded by disproportionately reduced access to health care services. Although many factors affect health status, the lack of health insurance and other barriers to obtaining health services effectively diminish racial and ethnic minorities’ utilization of preventive services and medical treatments that could reduce their burdens of disease and contribute to improved health status. This report examines disparities in health insurance coverage and access to physician services across major racial and ethnic groups and subgroups in the United States.