Minority Women’s Access to Health Insurance: The Intersecting Roles of Work, Marriage and Motherhood

Jennifer K. Montez, University of Texas at Austin
Jacqueline L. Angel, University of Texas at Austin
Ronald Angel, University of Texas at Austin

In the United States, the Mexican-origin population has the lowest health insurance rates of any racial or ethnic group. Currently, little is known about how employment and family operate to determine rates of health insurance coverage among women of Mexican-origin. Employing data from the 2004 and 2006 Current Population Surveys, we create an employment-family typology to investigate group differences in pathways to coverage for Mexican-origin, non-Hispanic white, and African-American women. Results show that Mexican-origin women are 18% as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have private coverage. In multivariate analyses, African-American women are as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have private coverage yet Mexican-origin women remain significantly less likely to have private coverage. Employment largely compensates for lower access to spousal coverage among African-American women, but it does not for Mexican-origin women. The findings indicate that neither employment nor marriage, or their combination, assures insurance coverage for Mexican-origin women.

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Presented in Poster Session 1