Community Outreach Helps Hispanic Kids Get Insurance

A shared culture makes all the difference, study finds

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

En Español

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to usual U.S. government outreach and enrollment programs, Hispanic case managers from the local community are much better at getting health coverage for uninsured Hispanic children, a new study shows.

As reported in the December issue of Pediatrics, the study included 275 uninsured Boston-area Hispanic children and their parents. Some of the children were assigned to an intervention group with trained Hispanic case managers, while others were sent to a control group that received traditional Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program outreach and enrollment.

The children assigned to the community-based care managers:

  • Were much more likely to obtain health insurance (96 percent vs. 57 percent), and were calculated to be eight times more likely to obtain insurance;
  • Were significantly more likely to be continuously insured (78 percent vs. 30 percent);
  • Obtained insurance faster (87.5 days vs. 134.8 days);
  • Had parents who were much more satisfied with the process of obtaining insurance -- (80 percent vs. 29 percent).

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the elimination of a racial/ethnic disparity in health and health care," principal study author Dr. Glenn Flores, an associate professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and health policy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said in a prepared statement.

"The intervention resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of Latino children being insured, surpassing even the percentage of insured Caucasian children," Flores said.

"By eliminating the racial/ethnic element -- having people from the same culture act as interpreters and advocates -- we found remarkable success in the program," he said.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about children and health insurance.

SOURCE: Medical College of Wisconsin, news release, Dec. 5, 2005


Last Updated: