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Trends in Health Insurance Coverage and Access Among Black, Latino and White Americans, 2001-2003

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Publication Date: October 2004

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): J. Lee Hargraves

Series: Tracking Report No. 11

Topic: Health (Health services for minorities)

Type: Report

Abstract:

Overall health insurance rates changed little among nonelderly black, Latino and white Americans between 2001 and 2003, according to new findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). But sources of coverage shifted—especially for Latinos—from employment-based insurance to public coverage, suggesting the economic downturn took a greater toll on Latinos. Low-income Latinos and whites were particularly hard hit by declines in employer coverage. Shifting sources of coverage had little effect on access to medical care. With the sole exception of decreased access to specialists among blacks, access to care did not change between 2001 and 2003. Significant gaps in access to care among Latinos, blacks and whites persisted, with Latinos and blacks consistently reporting lower levels of access than whites.