New York City, October 16, 2003—Nearly half (45%) of Hispanics under age 65 and two-thirds (65%) of working-age Hispanics with low incomes were uninsured for all or part of the year in 2000, according to a new analysis by The Commonwealth Fund. Uninsured Hispanics have low rates of some preventive health services: just 39% of uninsured Hispanic adults with diabetes had annual foot exams (needed for early identification of problems that could lead to amputation) compared with 67% of Hispanics with insurance. Sixteen percent of uninsured Hispanic men ages 40-64 received prostate exams, compared with 40% of insured Hispanic men in that age group.
- High rates of lack of insurance and unstable coverage are especially likely to affect Hispanic children in low-income families: nearly half (44%) were uninsured or had a time uninsured during the year, compared with one-third (33%) of U.S. children in low-income families.
- Hispanics ages 50-64 are also as high risk for unstable coverage: 61% were uninsured all year or had a gap in coverage, compared with 41% of that age group in the total population.
- One quarter of Hispanics ages 50-64 went without needed care (did not fill a prescription or skipped a needed medical test, treatment or follow-up) due to costs. "Lack of insurance, unstable coverage, language barriers, and low income all contribute to the growing health care crisis among Hispanics," said Doty.