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Health report shows Hispanics in Idaho are uninsured at twice the rate of non-Hispanics


From medical insurance to representation, a new report from Idaho State University and the Commission on Hispanic Affairs highlights health disparities between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Idahoans.

The research, headed by ISU professor in Management Neil Tocher, shows the main disparity between Hispanics and non-Hispanics is access. The report shows Hispanics are not as likely to have health insurance as other Idahoans: over 25% of Hispanic adults in the state are without coverage against 7% of non-Hispanics. Tocher said there could be many reasons for this.

“It could be living in rural areas. It could be poverty, it could be not as many Hispanics in health care positions,” he said.

The report shows Hispanic workers are underrepresented in the medical field. While 13% of the state population is Hispanic, only 5% of nurses are. Hispanic adults also experience poverty in the state at twice the rate of non-Hispanics.

“It's up to the health care agencies and the government agencies in Idaho to take this information and develop appropriate policies to hopefully improve access so everyone in Idaho has equal access to healthcare,” Tocher said.

The report also notes that the 2020 Medicaid expansion, which as of January 2023, gave insurance coverage to 145,000 Idahoans, positively impacted the Hispanic population.

“Hopefully this is the tip of the iceberg and it will result in more data gathering about health care for Hispanics and non-Hispanics in the state,” Tocher added.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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