Latinos have the highest rates of lacking health insurance in the U.S., but will stand to benefit from the recently-passed Affordable Care Act, which is expected to provide coverage to more than 5 million Latinos by the year 2016.
According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, 42.4 percent of Latinos of Central American descent and 33.6 percent of Latinos of Mexican descent are uninsured. 30.7 percent of Hispanics lacked health insurance in 2010, compared to 11.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites, according to this Voxxi.com article.
The ACA will let Hispanics receive preventative screenings for free, helping to encourage a routine of prevention versus treatment. Hispanic youth will be allowed continued coverage up to age 25. No one will be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, regardless of age.
A low income and lack of health insurance are the top two reasons Latinos say they go without medical care. Hispanics are more likely to suffer from diabetes, hepatitis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, stroke, liver disease, and respiratory ailments, according to the article.
A report from the Pew Research Center shows foreign-born Latinos are more likely to not have a primary care physician, and 32 percent of primarily Spanish-speaking Latinos lack a regular health care provider. According to the report, the growing number of undocumented Hispanics make up approximately 17 percent of the nation’s uninsured.
Twenty-seven percent of Hispanics in the United States were covered under Medicaid in 2009, according to the Kaiser Foundation. Medicaid also covers almost 50 percent of Hispanic children and 63 percent of low-income Latino children.
The advancement of Latino health will be overseen by the new Office of Minority Health, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.