Hispanics most likely to go without health insurance

September 3, 2013

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 figures show more than 30 percent of Hispanics under the age of 65 are uninsured in 28 states, far higher than the rates of uninsured African Americans and whites.

Hispanics in Southern states are least likely to be covered by insurance. More than 40 percent of Hispanics in Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina are uninsured, according to Census Bureau estimates. All but 10.7 percent of Hispanics in Massachusetts are covered by health insurance.


Source: Census Bureau

By contrast, more than 25 percent of non-Hispanic black Americans are uninsured in just three states — Alaska, Montana and Florida. More than 19 percent of non-Hispanic whites go without coverage in Montana and Florida, while fewer than 5 percent of whites go without coverage in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Working-age adults in the Northeast and Midwest are most likely to be covered by health insurance, as Niraj wrote last week. Men are much more likely to be uninsured than women, and, unsurprisingly, low-income groups are more likely to go without insurance than those with family incomes above 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Only Massachusetts and Vermont insure at least 85 percent of those who live below 138 percent of the poverty line, the data found.

And Americans who live in metropolitan areas are more likely to be covered by insurance than those who live outside of metro areas. An average of 16.3 percent of residents of metropolitan counties went without insurance, while 18.8 percent of rural county populations were uninsured.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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Niraj Chokshi · September 3, 2013