Rose Chu, Daniel Wong, Wilma Robinson, and Kenneth Finegold, ASPE
The Affordable Care Act includes several provisions that are expected to significantly improve health outcomes for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. New estimates from RAND suggest that 2.0 million Asian Americans who would otherwise be uninsured will be covered or eligible for coverage by 2016 through the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the creation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Many other valuable benefits, including coverage for young adults and preventive services without cost-sharing, are already in effect and benefiting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.
Racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care in the United States are pervasive and well-documented. Racial and ethnic minorities still lag behind their White counterparts across a range of health indicators, including life expectancy, prevalence of chronic diseases, and access to quality care.1,2 In addition, individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups make up about one-third of the nation’s population, but are at higher risk than the general population of being uninsured, making up over half of the estimated 50 million Americans with no health insurance coverage.3
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up 4.9 percent of the population, with a total of 15.2 million.4 This population grew faster than any other racial group in the United States between 2000 and 2010, an increase of 43 percent.5 The largest Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups in 2010 were Chinese (3.5 million), Asian Indian (2.9 million), Filipino (2.6 million), Vietnamese (1.6 million), Korean (1.5 million), Japanese (0.8 million), and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders (0.5 million).6
Overall, an estimated 18.1 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are uninsured, compared with 16.3 percent of all Americans.7 However, the extent of uninsurance varies considerably by Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroup, with rates of 6.6 percent for Japanese Americans, 10.9 percent for Filipino Americans, 11.8 percent for Asian Indian Americans, 13.4 percent for Chinese Americans, 16.7 percent for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Americans, 19.8 percent for Vietnamese Americans, and 25.5 percent for Korean Americans.8
The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that will greatly improve the health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by increasing their access to affordable health insurance coverage and high-quality care.9 New estimates from RAND suggest that in 2016, 2.0 million Asian Americans who would otherwise be uninsured will gain or be eligible for coverage. Valuable benefits, including coverage for young adults and preventive services without cost-sharing, are already in effect and benefiting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.