Many Americans lost their jobs—and their health insurance—during the past few years of recession, but a new study shows that minorities may have been hit the hardest.
One-fourth of African-Americans and Hispanics lost their jobs and employment-based health insurance, compared with 15% of whites, according to a new research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Office-based physician visits had the steepest drop for Hispanics and African-Americans during the 2-year study period, although both whites and Hispanics say they visited the doctor less overall than before the recession.
Prescription drug usage changed over the recession, too—only not for minorities, unlike physician visits. Hispanics had the lowest rate of prescription drug fills before the recession, and that didn’t change throughout the study period. African-Americans also reported no statistical change in their prescription drug habits. But whites had the highest rate of prescription drug use pre-recession (8.40), and that number dropped from 2007 to 2009 (8.09).
No statistically significant difference existed in emergency department visits before and after the recession across all of the racial/ethnic groups, but the study indicates that the use of preventive services also declined throughout the recession.