November 09, 2002

The Latino Coalition Foundation (TLCF) created a study, entitled "A Gathering Storm in California Health Care? Trends in Managed Care Costs, Accountability and Quality," which details how shifting health care costs to employers and consumers threatens Hispanics' access to insurance and quality health care services. The study shows the rising price tag for health care means Californians will pay more for even fewer care options.

The study found that rates of insurance compound Hispanics' ability to manage the chronic illnesses that disproportionately affect them, like diabetes and asthma. Hispanics overall develop diabetes at twice the rate of other ethnic groups; and one in seven Hispanic children have asthma. In an attempt to save money, California health plans have taken steps to steer patients toward generics and over-the-counter medications. Hispanics, as a result, wind up paying more out of their own pockets to receive the specific diabetes and asthma-related treatments they need.

"The health care outlook for California's Hispanics is anything but healthy. Consumers, employers and legislators are not fully aware of the implications of the health plan trend to charge more and deliver less, especially at a time when health plan profits are strong," said Robert de Posada, President of The Latino Coalition. "This research amplifies the need for Hispanics to become more aware of how these changes directly affect California workers and their families."

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