Hispanic Population Represents Highest Rate of Uninsured

EbolaWhile health consistently ranks as a top priority among Hispanics, support for a federally-mandated insurance option has taken a precipitous fall. The group’s support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—Obamacare— was weighted heavily in favor at the end of 2013 with 61 percent approval of the federal plan. By March 2014, Hispanic support of Obamacare fell to only 47 percent approval within the group.

Of the 13 million Hispanics living in the country who don’t have health insurance, around seven million were born outside the United States. According to Pew, close to 40 percent of Hispanic immigrants don’t have health insurance. Approximately 17 percent of US-born Hispanics lack health coverage. For the Hispanic population without US citizenship, 49 percent don’t have health insurance.

The nation’s Hispanic population is the least prosperous among us in terms of health insurance coverage, according to a Pew Research study released in September. The issue for the segment becomes even starker among Hispanics who are also immigrants as the discrepancy with this segment of the group becomes even more pronounced.

In purely racial terms, the U.S. Census Bureau reports 9.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured in 2013. In the same year, 15.9 percent of blacks were uninsured. These numbers compare to 24.3 percent of Hispanics without health insurance coverage and a general population rate of 14 percent who don’t have health insurance.

Within the Hispanic population, those between the ages of 18 and 64—adults of working age—are the most likely segment to report no health insurance. For Hispanic children, one-third of immigrants under the age of 18 are uninsured. The uninsured rate for US-born Hispanics is 12 percent and drops to around 9 percent among all children in the country.

In California, a state with one of the highest rates of immigrant residents, the sign-up rate for the California health insurance exchange is roughly equally made up of Hispanics and Asians. The rate means Hispanics are still underrepresented as part of those who are covered by the exchange because the state’s Hispanic population is roughly three times greater than its Asian population.