To many, a year age difference doesn’t mean much. There isn’t much distinctness between a 12 and 13-years-old, just like there isn’t much of a contrast between a 21 and 22-years-old. Health insurance experts, however, disagree. A simple year in age can make the difference between someone having proper health insurance and someone going without any kind of medical coverage at all.
As well as age, an individual’s ethnic background plays a major role in obtaining health insurance. According to a study by the Center for Adolescent Health and Law, a startling amount of adolescents, older adolescents and young adults lack health insurance coverage. Most of the individuals are minorities. To change these statistics, start by comparing health insurance quotes online today!
Here are some startling statistics about ethnic youth lacking health insurance coverage:
Nearly 30 percent of Hispanic adolescents (ages 10-18) lack health insurance 12 percent of black adolescents Only 8.4 percent of white adolescents Nearly 50 percent of Hispanic young adults (ages 19-23) 3 out of every 10 high school graduates are uninsured at some time during the year following their high school graduation Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely than whites to have incomes that are less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level; therefore, they are more likely than whites to enroll in Medicaid and/or to be uninsured
In the midst of a failing economy, more and more people are losing their health insurance coverage. As unfair as it is, minorities are even more likely to be affected and lose their coverage.
Plenty of Health Care Options to Choose From
In the “Land of Opportunity,” everyone should be able to own health insurance. Just because a child is part of a minority group doesn’t mean parents should have to struggle to find them affordable health insurance. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable health insurance coverage options for ethnic teens and young adults:
Health insurance provided by employer. While it is unlikely that even an older adolescent will have a full-time job, especially one with health insurance benefits, this is the best option. Parents should be open to opportunities that may lead them to employer-sponsored health insurance benefits; it typically guarantees coverage for your spouse, children, and dependents, regardless of pre-existing condition and, most importantly, age and ethnicity. Medicaid. A federal health care program, Medicaid provides benefits to more than 50 million low-income children, working families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. Many racial and ethnic minorities—who are disproportionately more likely to use the program than whites—depend on Medicaid, providing coverage to about one in five Latinos and African Americans. Contact your state legislator and federal officials. Sometimes, it’s better to get things done yourself. Writing, calling, and emailing your congressman about the key healthcare policy issues and demand they work to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities can raise awareness about a growing problem. Health insurance in college. Check with your college if it offers any health insurance options. Who knows? Maybe your college can offer you something other than an education.
staff contribution: Rafael Onak