Working Without Benefits: The Health Insurance Crisis Confronting Hispanic Americans
America's Hispanic community is facing a health care crisis. Nearly 40 percent of Hispanics under age 65 do not have insurance. Despite their increasingly vital contribution to the nation's economy, Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to be uninsured as the general population. Nine of the 11 million uninsured Hispanics are in working families. Hispanics tend to lack health insurance because their employers fail to offer them coverage. Lack of coverage limits Hispanics timely access to health care and leads many individuals to forgo care altogether. It means diagnosis and treatment of illness are delayed and that illness or injury can result in financial burdens for hard-working families. Using data from the March 1999 Current Population Survey and The Commonwealth Fund 1999 National Survey of Workers' Health Insurance, this report examines reasons behind the coverage crisis and the effect of lack of health insurance on the Hispanic community.