Why do Hispanics have so little employer-sponsored health insurance?

Inquiry. 2007 Fall;44(3):257-79. doi: 10.5034/inquiryjrnl_44.3.257.


This paper investigates low rates of employer health insurance coverage among Hispanics using national data from the Community Tracking Study Household Survey. Interview language served as a proxy for the degree of assimilation. Findings indicate that English-speaking Hispanics are more similar to whites in their labor market experiences and coverage than they are to Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Spanish-speakers' very low human capital (including their inability to speak English) results in much less access to job-based insurance. Though less important, Spanish-speaking Hispanics' demand for employer-sponsored insurance appears lower than that of English-speaking Hispanics or whites. Results suggest that language and job training may be the most effective way to bolster Hispanics' insurance coverage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Uninsured / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Policy Making
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits / trends
  • United States