The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare coverage and access in racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States

Submitted: 12 July 2023
Accepted: 22 November 2023
Published: 27 December 2023
Abstract Views: 1432
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This study described spatiotemporal changes in health insurance coverage, healthcare access, and reasons for non-insurance among racial/ethnic minority populations in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic using four national survey datasets. Getis-Ord Gi* statistic and scan statistics were used to analyze geospatial clusters of health insurance coverage by race/ethnicity. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds of reporting inability to access healthcare across two pandemic time periods by race/ethnicity. Racial/ethnic differences in insurance were observed from 2010 through 2019, with the lowest rates being among Hispanic/Latino, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations. Pre-pandemic insurance coverage rates were geographically clustered. The percentage of adults citing change in employment status as the reason for non-insurance increased by about 7% after the start of the pandemic, with a small decrease observed among African American adults. Almost half of adults reported reduced healthcare access in June 2020, with 38.7% attributing reduced access to the pandemic; however, by May 2021, the percent of respondents reporting reduced access for any reason and due to the pandemic fell to 26.9% and 12.7%, respectively. In general, racial/ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage and healthcare access worsened during the pandemic. Although coverage and access improved over time, pre-COVID disparities persisted with African American and Hispanic/Latino populations being the most affected by insurance loss and reduced healthcare access. Cost, unemployment, and eligibility drove non-insurance before and during the pandemic.

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How to Cite

Freelander, L., Rickless, D. S., Anderson, C., Curriero, F., Rockhill, S., Mirsajedin, A., Colón, C. J., Lusane, J., Vigo-Valentín, A., & Wong, D. (2023). The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare coverage and access in racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. Geospatial Health, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2023.1222

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