The role of health insurance coverage in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in health care

Health Aff (Millwood). 2005 Mar-Apr;24(2):398-408. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.24.2.398.


Research showing racial/ethnic disparities in medical care obtained by people with comparable insurance has raised questions about the extent to which health insurance improves opportunities for care. To assess whether insurance expansions could be expected to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in access to care, this paper reviews evidence from studies specifically designed to quantify the contribution of health insurance to racial/ethnic disparities in access. The studies provide evidence that a sizable share of the differences in whether a person has a regular source of care could be reduced if Hispanics and African Americans were insured at levels comparable to those of whites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Insurance Coverage*
  • Insurance, Health*
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Social Justice*
  • United States