Health Insurance Coverage and Utilization of Health Services by Mexican Americans, Mainland Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans

Published In: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 265, no. 2, Jan. 9, 1991, p. 233-237

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1990

by Fernando M. Treviño, M. Eugene Moyer, R. Burciaga Valdez, Christine A. Stroup-Benham

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This investigation examines data on 13,000 Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans between 6 months and 74 years of age who were interviewed from 1982 through 1984 in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In addition, data from the 1989 Current Population Survey (N = 145,000) conducted by the US Bureau of the Census are presented for the white and black non-Hispanic populations as well as the three Hispanic national origin groups. The study revealed that over one third of the Mexican-American population, one fifth of the Puerto Rican population, and one fourth of the Cuban-American population is uninsured for medical expenditures compared with one fifth of the black, non-Hispanic population and one tenth of the white, non-Hispanic population. Furthermore, compared with Hispanics with private health insurance, uninsured Hispanics are less likely to have a regular source of health care, less likely to have visited a physician in the past year, less likely to have had a routine physical examination, and less likely to rate their health status as excellent or very good.

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