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Uninsured rate for Hispanic, black Americans dropped in 2014

National Health Interview Survey says some healthcare disparities remain

The percentage of uninsured adults decreased for Hispanic and black Americans in 2014, though there are still inequalities in healthcare access and utilization for certain populations, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services' National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

NHIS finds that the uninsured rate for Hispanics ages 18 to 64 dropped to 34.1 percent in 2014, down from 41.1 percent in 2013. For non-Hispanic whites, 2014's rate was 11.5 percent, down from 14.5 percent, while non-Hispanic blacks rate was 17.6 percent last year, down from 24.7 percent.

NHIS also looked into was whether the study's targeted population had a usual place to receive medical care within the past 12 months. The percentage of Hispanic adults who had a usual place to go for medical increased in 2014 to 73.0 percent, up from 69.1 percent. The percentage for non-Hispanic white adults increased from 84.3 percent to 85.6 percent.

In 2014, Hispanic adults were more likely to have seen or talked to a healthcare professional--70.1 percent compared to 67.5 percent in 2013. Additionally, the percent of Hispanic adults who did not obtain needed medical care due to cost decreased last year to 7.6 percent, down from 9.9 percent in 2013. The percentage for non-Hispanic whites dropped slightly from 7.7 percent to 7.0 percent.

While NHIS does note that some improvements in healthcare access and utilization were made between 2013 and 2014, the report reiterates that "poorer health care access and utilization can lead to poorer health outcomes and higher disease prevalence, which have sometimes been observed for Hispanic adults relative to non-Hispanic white adults."

In efforts to boost Hispanic enrollment, specifically, insurers have gotten creative. For example, Blue Cross plans in Texas and North Carolina send recreational vehicles to try to attract Hispanics at community events.

For more:
- check out the report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
Medicaid expansion, better outreach key to lowing uninsured Hispanic rate
Insurers think outside the box to boost Hispanic enrollment
Uninsured rate drops to 11.5 percent