Author: McGuire, Thomas ; Alegria, Margerita ; Cao, Zhun ; Takeuchi, David
Working Paper: Health Insurance for Vulnerable Populations: Understanding Differences across Asian American and Latino Subgroups in the United States (PDF) ; February 2005
Objectives: This study contrasts insurance outcomes (private, public, uninsured) for subgroups
of Asian Americans and Latinos using the National Latino and Asian American Study
Methods: The NLAAS is a national probability sample of Latinos and Asian Americans (18 +
years) in the United States. Measures included insurance coverage, demographic and
socioeconomic characteristics, and health and mental health status. To evaluate differences in
insurance outcomes across ethnic subgroups, weighted multinomial logistic regression models
were run .
Results: Uninsurance rates for Latinos (37%) were strikingly different across subgroups (p <
0.001), with the highest uninsurance rate observed among Mexicans (45%). All Asian
subgroups had similar adjusted uninsured rates (about 13%), but Vietnamese had slightly
double the adjusted rate of public insurance.
Conclusions: The NLAAS results confirm that Latinos are disproportional uninsured.
Extensive differences in insurance coverage between subgroups of Latinos and Asian
Americans cannot be eliminated even after controlling for a range of factors. Policies affecting
access to public coverage function differentially across groups, suggesting that to close the gap
in coverage will require targeting factors particular to each group.