Health Care Reform & South Asians
Health care reform will provide coverage to countless uninsured and underinsured Asian Americans. According to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) approximately 14% of Asian Americans are uninsured, and these rates are even higher for certain South Asian communities. For example, approximately 23% of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis in the US are uninsured, as compared to Indians who have a much lower percentage of uninsured (12%).
Rates of underinsured are also high among Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and a large proportion rely on public insurance such as Medcaid (37% and 24%, respectively). These rates are significantly higher than Asians overall (19%), as well as Indians (13%) in the U.S.
The Affordable Care Act, while under severe scrutiny and in threat in the U.S. Supreme Court, offers numerous opportunities for South Asians living in the U.S. to improve their ability to access affordable, quality health care. Among its dozens of promising provisions for communities of color are an expanded Medicaid program, new health insurance exchanges, coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, small business health options program, and the extension of coverage for young adults to remain on their parent’s health plan until age 26. For further information on the impact of health care reform on the health of Asians and certain South Asian subgroups, click here.
Other recent papers and analyses on this topic, with relevance for South Asians are as follows:
Research & Policy Reports
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: Advancing Health Equity for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Populations. Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, July 2010.
Health Reform and Communities of Color: Implications for Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2010.
Andrulis DP and Siddiqui NJ. Health Reform Holds Both Risks and Rewards for Safety-Net Providers and Racially and Ethnically Diverse Patients. Health Affairs, October 2011, Vol 30, No 10.
- Health Care Reform: Critical to Closing the Gap for Communities of Color, Families USA’s Minority Health Initiatives Factsheet, March 2009.
Health Care Reform Becomes Law, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), March 2010.
The Impact of Health Care Reform on Health Coverage for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, December 2011.
Fact Sheet: Benefits for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders of New Affordable Care Act Rules on Expanding Prevention Coverage, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.
- How Health Reform Helps Asian Americans. Families USA’s Minority Health Initiatives, September 2010.
- The Need for Affordable and Accessible Health Care, SAALT, October 2009.