WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 14, 2015) — AARP released a new report Wednesday revealing that Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) age 50 and older lack health insurance and access to quality, affordable health care compared to other Americans the same age.
“Given the cultural and socioeconomic diversity among AAPI groups, understanding the unique needs of each community is the first step in ensuring their health needs are met,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience. “Our goal is to help reduce ethnic health disparities by closing the gaps in knowledge about this underserved community.”
The main reason for non-coverage among AAPIs is cost. Employers and employee unions are the primary vehicles for health insurance coverage in the U.S. Because many AAPIs are self-employed or run small businesses, access and cost makes health insurance out of reach. Among those age 65 and older, a greater proportion of AAPIs do not have Medicare coverage, to some extent because of ineligibility for Medicare among some immigrants.
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