Across all racial and ethnic groups, Latinos report the highest uninsured rates in the United States. Among Latino subgroups, those who lack health insurance coverage are mostly those of Central American or Mexican descent—42.4 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively. In 2010, 30.7 percent of the Hispanic population was not covered by health insurance, compared to 11.7 percent of the non-Hispanic white population. As a consequence, community health centers are crucial to communities of color accessing health care. In 2010, 34.4 percent of patients in community health centers were Latino.
The Affordable Care Act—more commonly referred to as "Obamacare"—will uniquely impact Latino communities by significantly increasing access to health care through expanding insurance coverage. By 2016 an estimated 5.4 million Latinos who would otherwise be uninsured will gain coverage. Among young Latino adults between the ages of 19 and 25, 736,000 young adults who would have otherwise been uninsured now have coverage under their parents’ employer-sponsored or individually purchased health plan.
Immigrant communities and those Latino adults who are neither citizens nor legal permanent residents also face high uninsured rates. In 2009 undocumented immigrants and their children comprised 17 percent of the estimated 46 million Americans who lacked health insurance. Approximately 37 percent of noncitizens or nonlegal permanent residents have no regular health care provider. The two most reported reasons for lacking a doctor are financial barriers (28 percent) and being uninsured (17 percent).
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