Hospital Consolidation And Racial/Income Disparities In Health Insurance Coverage

Health Affairs
Vol. 26, No. 4
July/August 2007
Town, R.J., Wholey, D.R., Feldman, R.D., and Burns, L.R.

Non-Hispanic whites are significantly more likely to have health insurance coverage than most racial/ethnic minorities, and this differential grew during the 1990s. Similarly, wealthier Americans are more likely to have health insurance than the poor, and this difference also grew over the 1990s. This paper examines the role of provider competition in increasing these disparities in insurance coverage. Over the 1990s, the hospital industry consolidated; we analyze the impact of this consolidation on health insurance take-up for different racial/ethnic minorities and income groups. We found that the hospital consolidation wave increased health insurance disparities along racial and income dimensions.

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