Office Of Minority Health Report Finds Nearly 2 In 5 Black & Latino Males Lack Health Insurance

July 15, 2014  |  

A new report from the Office of Minority Health finds that nearly 40 percent — two in five — African American and Latino males don’t have health insurance. Among these uninsured black men, 59 percent report an income at or below the national poverty line.

The report, “Characteristics of Uninsured Adult Males by Race and Ethnicity (Ages 19 to 64 Years)” is a snapshot of the state of health care for men of various races across the US. While we’ve focused quite a bit on how the Affordable Care Act is bringing more Americans on to much-needed health care plans, the uproar the law has caused among Republicans, and the impact that the new mandates — and the Supreme Court decisions against them — has on women, there’s also men’s health to be concerned with.

According to the latest numbers, eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the ACA. The Office of Minority Health is a special effort within the Department of Health and Human Services charged with creating policies and programs that benefit minorities and reduce health disparities in this country. This latest report shows that there’s a big gap in access to health insurance. In every age group, white men have the lowest percentage of people lacking health insurance (Asian men are next). African American and Latino men have the highest.

“An important factor in making progress toward reducing health disparities and achieving health equity is our ability to understand why disparities occur and how to eliminate them,” Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health, told us via email.

“This type of knowledge about the patterns of uninsurance among adult minority men prior to the establishment of the Health Insurance Marketplace and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility can be a powerful tool for organizations today.  It  can help them develop targeted interventions to ensure that more men of color and their families obtain access to opportunities for coverage and preventive health benefits to improve the health status of all Americans,” she continued.

Poverty is a closely-related issue, specifically among African-American men, who are more often at the federal poverty level (FPL) than any other racial group. Forty-three percent of African-American men have no full-time worker in their household, also the highest percentage among the racial groups examined.

For more from the Office of Minority Health, click here. The site has information about everything from cancer to AIDS and infant health. And you can get the full report on men’s health here.

And if you’re interested in the mental health issue, be sure to tune in to Twitter on Thursday, July 17 at 2pm ET, using the hashtag #MMHMChat. MN Business will be there along with the Office of Minority Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. The chat, marking Minority Mental Health Month, will cover everything from the cultural differences on the issue of mental health to reducing the disparities between different ethnic groups. Have your questions ready for this important topic!

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