Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Uninsured rates among Latinos rise

Graph showing uninsured rate by race/ethnicity.
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Note: Margin of error is ±0.2%; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Latinos of all ages were the least insured group in the U.S. last year, according to census data released this week.

By the numbers: 24.9% of working-age Hispanics and 9.5% of those under 18 lacked health coverage in 2020.

  • The uninsured rate was greater for Hispanic men than for Hispanic women, at 19.9% and 16.6% respectively. Both those rates were 1.8 and 1.2 percentage points higher than in 2019, per the data.
  • In past polls the high cost of health insurance and ineligibility for Medicaid were mentioned as the two most common reasons people of all races and ethnic origins lacked health coverage.
  • Census data also shows that U.S. Hispanics had a median income of $55,321 in 2020, under the $67,521 average for all races and ethnic groups in the country.
  • The number of Latinos living in poverty also increased 17%.

Bottom line: Lacking insurance can create unsurmountable medical debt for treatment, and can discourage people from going to a doctor or hospital, even during a pandemic.

  • “I survive little by little, getting checkups only when I have enough saved up to afford them,” Ernesto Vargas tells Noticias Telemundo.

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