Posts tagged health insurance
Hispanics are less likely to be covered by health insurance in every state in the union, according to new figures released late last week by the Census Bureau, the Washington Post reports.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, with about one in four people having no coverage at all.
Two South Texas counties have among the highest rates of people without health insurance in the nation—Hidalgo County has the highest rate among urban counties at 38.9% and Maverick County has the highest rate among medium-sized counties at 35.1%—with working Hispanic men in South Texas the most likely to not have coverage, Insurance Journal reports.
The Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates are a statistical analysis of the American Community Survey data and other census information combined with federal income tax, Medicaid, food stamps and County Business Patterns records. The dataset is for 2011, the latest year available.
Brotherhood is a term for a close-knit system of support and friendship among men.
In Spanish, this is known as hermandad.
For three Latino men fighting to survive prostate cancer, hermandad was a unifying force that helped them through the most difficult challenge of their lives—and it wouldn’t have been possible without the innovative patient navigation project from Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute and headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Guadalupe Ortiz Valadez, age 61.
Roman Mejia Hernandez, age 57.
Francisco Lopez, age 58.
Each man has a different life story, background, and struggle with cancer.
But their differences dissolved when a Redes patient navigator, Guadalupe Cornejo, helped bring them all together. Cornejo arranged a phone call so that Lopez could offer his support and advice to Valadez. Then, at the request of Hernandez’ daughter, Cornejo arranged for Valadez to give similar support to Hernandez. The three men immediately started learning from each other. They found comfort being able to confide in someone who shares the same experience of fears, questions and uncertainties of prostate cancer.
The trio began talking more frequently over time. They talked about the barriers they have faced: language, little or distant family support, and no health insurance.
Valadez said that, while he didn’t encounter many major challenges thanks to the support of his wife and children, the toughest part was telling his children about his cancer diagnosis and the unknowns of surgery. He envisions—thanks in part to the support system he established with Hernandez and Lopez—being able to help educate others about cancer and survivorship.
Lopez said he was also blessed to have his family being by his side from diagnosis to full recovery. But with no health insurance, he initially hesitated to seek medical care until he felt too ill not to. It was his daughter that encouraged him to seek care at a clinic that took care of all his health needs. He was faced with the diagnosis of prostate cancer, diabetes and arthritis all at once. Coming from poverty, has given him compassion for others in need and is willing to give wholeheartedly to others.
Hernandez, who also had no insurance when diagnosed with prostate cancer, said he only had a brother to lean on during his treatments. Speaking only Spanish also kept him from communicating effectively with his physician. He was very grateful for the opportunity to get to know Valadez and Hernandez, and said their friendship helped him persevere.
The three Latino men talked on the phone so much they believed they had grown a “spiritual bond.” Each man cited this bond and the Redes patient navigator project and instrumental in helping them achieve cancer survival.
The Redes national study coordinator, Sandra San Miguel, recently brought them together in person for the first time.
With hugs and smiles exchanged, Valadez, Lopez, and Hernandez thanked each other for their support and made a vow: help other prostate cancer patients support and educate each other about the cancer journey to help them hurdle some of the same challenges they faced and embark on a new journey filled with support, friendship, wellness, and a positive outlook on life.
In other words: let’s all spread hermandad.
The Mexican-origin population in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the past four decades—from less than 1 million in 1970 to 33.7 million in 2012—a result of one of the largest mass migrations in modern history, according to a new report by Pew Hispanic Center.
Of these 33.7 million, about 11.4 million are immigrants born in Mexico.
Compared with 1990, Mexican immigrants in 2011 were less likely to be male, considerably older, and better educated, according to the Pew report.
Other interesting tidbits include:
- Language: 66% of Mexican-origin Hispanics ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.
- Age: Mexican-origin Hispanics are younger (median age of 25) than both the U.S. population (37) and Hispanics overall (27).
- Education: Mexicans have lower levels of education than the Hispanic population overall.
- Health insurance: Fewer Mexicans than all Hispanics have health insurance (33% vs. 30%).
- Poverty: More Mexicans live in poverty (27%) than Hispanics overall (25%).
Read more here.
The Center for American Progress’ new fact sheet, Health Disparities by Race and Ethnicity, spells out health issues facing the nation’s minority groups.
Hispanic health care coverage statistics include:
- 68% of Hispanics had health insurance coverage in 2009 compared to 88% of whites.
- 35% of nonelderly uninsured Hispanics report having chronic health conditions.
- Close to a third of Hispanics lack a usual source of health care and 46% of uninsured Hispanics who report having chronic health conditions lack regular care.
Hispanic chronic health conditions include:
- 10% of Hispanics of all ages report they are in fair or poor health.
- About 40% of Latinos age 20 and older were obese in 2008.
- 14% of Hispanics have been diagnosed with diabetes compared with 8% of whites.
- Hispanic women contract cervical cancer at twice the rate of white women.
- One in five Hispanics report not seeking medical care due to language barriers.
For more, see the fact sheet.
While millions of Americans of all backgrounds face the problem of being unable to access care because of a lack of insurance or inadequate coverage, Latinos are far more likely than people in other racial and ethnic groups to be unable to afford or get care when they need it, Newsweek reports.
Government agencies and public health officials are joining the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in highlighting ways in which the Affordable Care Act will make health insurance more accessible and affordable to the nine million Latinos that will be eligible to receive health coverage under the new public health law. With one in three Latinos lacking health insurance coverage, Latino families have suffered more than any other ethnic group due to lack of coverage and inadequate care.
However, the 8 percent of U.S. residents that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will remain uninsured once health reform is implemented will still be disproportionately Latino.
Access-to-care issues thus must remain a priority for policy-makers and health researchers.