Online Program

Asian American Seniors and Disparities in Their Health Insurance Coverage

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Krista Chan, Institute of Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Suhaila Khan, MD, PhD, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP), San Francisco, CA
Not much is known about the health or healthcare disparities of elderly Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans, let alone disparities in their insurance coverage. The number of API elderly are predicted to increase to 9%, from 1 million in 2010 to about 7.5 million by 2050.

This study identified and estimated disparities in health care access for API seniors of Medicaid eligible age (65 and older) by measuring uninsurance rates. Both aggregate and disaggregate data were analyzed.  Demographic characteristics of API seniors were compared with other racial groups. Data from the American Community Survey’s 2013 1-year estimates are tested using Pearson’s Chi-squared test. About 3.8% of seniors identified as Asian or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander only. Among those who identified as non-Hispanic, Asian only, detailed race categories were analyzed for uninsurance. Within this group, 4.8% were found to have no source of health insurance. However, the disaggregated data found that Pakistani seniors have significantly higher rates of uninsurance, at 17.7% (p=0.00). Additionally, 7.1% of Asian Indians and 8.8% of other South Asian races were found to be uninsured (p=0.00). These values exceed all aggregated elderly race categories, as Hispanics have the highest rates of uninsurance at 5.1%.

There are insurance gaps for the API elderly population that should be universally insured in the United States. Disaggregated data demonstrates that insurance rates for API seniors are skewed by averages. More research is needed to determine barriers to insurance for highly uninsured elderly API groups, such as Pakistani and other South Asians.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the health insurance disparities in API seniors Describe the importance of analyzing both aggregate and disaggregate data, particularly in small population groups like APIs. Explain the connection between data and policy and how that can reduce health and healthcare disparities.

Keyword(s): Asian Americans, Universal Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a research analyst at the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies, where I work on multiple health workforce research studies, analyzing both public use data and conducting research surveys. I have completed multiple econometric analyses on the impacts of health policies by race. I worked on this for a project under UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program and National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.