May 18 2009
The economic downturn is contributing to a decline in overall family health in the Hispanic community, with parents prioritizing their children's health over their own. While 44 percent of Hispanics consider it equally important for parents to take care of their own health and the health of their children, significantly more parents say the economic downturn has affected their own health and wellness compared to that of their children (69 percent vs. 59 percent).
In fact, Hispanic parents are making their healthcare a lower priority overall, ranking their own healthcare fourth (five percent) on a list of top priorities -- below their children's healthcare (61 percent), housing (20 percent) and even food and groceries (7 percent). In addition, Hispanic parents are worried about their family's overall healthcare situation. Forty-five percent of Hispanics are concerned about their ability to afford healthcare, medicines and treatment for themselves or their families. And their perspective on the future is even gloomier, with 81 percent of Hispanic parents indicating they expect the current economic downturn to affect their own health or that of a family member.
The survey of 2,186 American adults was commissioned by Boehringer Ingelheim to evaluate Americans' views and concerns about healthcare access and included 328 Hispanics.
In addition, only 30 percent of Hispanics say they have health insurance that generally meets their needs and is reasonably affordable given their current financial situation. These findings offer further perspective on recent reports from the National Association of Community Health Centers which found that 60 million people in the United States lack access to basic medical care.
Other findings from the survey include:
- When it comes to healthcare in the current economic downturn, an unforeseen medical or personal crisis is a concern for 38 percent of Hispanics, followed by concerns about their ability to afford health insurance (37 percent).
- Fourteen percent of Hispanics reported not receiving healthcare because of a lack of health insurance, inability to pay, or other reasons; another 15 percent said they do the best they can to pay for healthcare themselves because they do not have health insurance or government support.
- Three out of four (74 percent) Hispanics would seek out and go to a free clinic on a regular basis to meet their and their family's healthcare needs if they lost or could not afford health insurance, had no health insurance or could not qualify for a government-sponsored healthcare program.
- However, half (49 percent) of Hispanics report not knowing how to find out about free clinics, what services are available and if their families qualify.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Family Health Survey was conducted on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim by Greenfield Online between April 28 and April 30, 2009. The online survey interviewed a national sample 2,186 US adults age 18 and older. The results are weighted and balanced to conform to US census parameters for gender, age, region of residence, ethnicity and other demographics. The survey has a plus or minus 2-3 percent margin of error at 95 percent confidence.