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The Importance of Health Insurance in Addressing Asian American Disparities in Utilization of Clinical Preventive Services: 12-Year Pooled Data from California.

  • Author(s): McMenamin, Sara B
  • Pourat, Nadereh
  • Lee, Richard
  • Breen, Nancy
  • et al.
Abstract

Purpose: Previous research has shown that Asian Americans are less likely to receive recommended clinical preventive services especially for cancer compared with non-Hispanic whites. Health insurance expansion has been recommended as a way to increase use of these preventive services. This study examines the extent to which utilization of preventive services by Asians overall and by ethnicity compared with non-Hispanic whites is moderated by health insurance. Methods: Data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) was used to examine preventive service utilization among non-Hispanic whites, Asians, and Asian subgroups 50-64 years of age by insurance status. Six waves of CHIS data from 2001 to 2011 were combined to allow analysis of Asian subgroups. Logistic regression models were run to predict the effect of insurance on receipt of mammography, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, and flu shots among Asians overall and by ethnicity compared with whites. Results: Privately insured Asians reported significantly lower adjusted rates of mammography (83.1% vs. 87.6%) and CRC screening (54.7% vs. 59.4%), and higher rates of influenza vaccination (48.7% vs. 38.5%) than privately insured non-Hispanic whites. Adjusted rates of cancer screening were lower among Koreans and Chinese for mammography, and lower among Filipinos for CRC screening. Conclusion: This study highlights the limitations of providing insurance coverage as a strategy to eliminate disparities for cancer screening among Asians without addressing cultural factors.

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