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Health Coverage Lowest Among Minorities

By German Lopez · October 3rd, 2012 · City Desk

Following a national trend, Ohio’s minorities have the lowest levels of health care coverage, according to a new study from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The study looked at 2006-2008 data for only men to gauge health insurance coverage and other health issues in a pre-Obamacare world.

In Ohio, Hispanics have the highest rates of no coverage at 40.1 percent. Blacks are second with 25.3 percent without coverage. Meanwhile, only 14.6 percent of whites have no coverage. The disparity is also prevalent on a national level. 

The study assigned “disparity scores” to comparatively measure racial disparity in health care coverage.

The national average score was 2.27. Ohio did better than most of the nation and its neighbors with a score of 1.83. Kentucky was rated 2.06, Indiana 2.14 and Michigan 1.86. Pennsylvania and West Virginia beat out Ohio with scores of 1.74 and 1.31, respectively.

For black men, the most striking national health disparity was that black men were more than seven times more likely than white men to be diagnosed with AIDS. For every 100,000 men, 104.1 black men were newly diagnosed with AIDS. Hispanics were second with 40.8, then Native Americans at 17.3, whites at 13.7 and Asians and Pacific Islanders at 8. Overall, the study assigned a 4.37 disparity score to AIDS diagnoses nationwide.

In Ohio, the rates of new AIDS cases were better overall, but the disparity score was worse than the national average at 5.23. Among whites, only 7.3 out of 100,000 were newly diagnosed with AIDS. Blacks were 46.2, Hispanics were 26.1, Native Americans were 9.8 and Asian and Pacific Islanders were 1.6.

The report also looks at poverty levels, incarceration rates, routine checkups, unemployment, the wage gap and more. 



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