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The Role of Economic Factors for Healthcare Usage in the U.S. Hispanic Community

The Role of Economic Factors for Healthcare Usage in the U.S. Hispanic Community

Huang, S., Abdelmalak, V., Elhaija, A.

Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 

Published: April 25, 2024



Conducted by the 501(c)-3 nonprofit, International Collegiate Health Initiative (ICHI), this study focuses on the significant role of economic factors in healthcare usage within the Hispanic community in the United States. Particularly highlighting the challenges posed by low socioeconomic status, insurance coverage gaps, and geographical barriers that limit access to essential healthcare services and affect the quality of care received by this demographic.The study found low socioeconomic status as a major barrier to adequate healthcare among the Hispanic population. This economic constraint is intricately linked to limited access to healthcare resources, notably in health education and preventive care (Escobedo et al., 2023). The findings emphasize the strong connection between lower socioeconomic status and significantly reduced opportunities for accessing essential medical care. Furthermore, with 12% of Latinos lacking access to insurance, the results show a substantial disparity in health insurance coverage within the Hispanic community. The lack of sufficient insurance coverage leads to a reluctance to seek medical care due to cost concerns (De Jesus & Xiao, 2014). This gap is especially concerning, as it prevents patients from seeking healthcare services in a timely and prompt manner. Additionally, geographical barriers are shown to significantly restrict healthcare access. Around 22% of Hispanics encounter obstacles in reaching healthcare services due to factors such as long travel distances to clinics and inadequate transportation (Oh et al., 2018). These factors demonstrate the need to provide economic support to underserved communities in order to produce greater healthcare outcomes in underserved communities. Effective intervention in these areas is crucial for breaking the cycle of healthcare disparities and ensuring sustainable health improvements for the Hispanic community.

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