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No Health Insurance for Many Black Veterans

By on May 31, 2012

Researchers at the Urban Institute used census data to estimate health insurance coverage for veterans aged 19 to 64 and the results are objectively shameful for the United States. While veterans are more likely to have health insurance than the general population, about 1 in 10 of the nearly 12.5 million veterans under age 65 do not have health coverage. More than 1.3 million working-age veterans don’t have health insurance and not accessing benefits available through Veterans Affairs.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, if the Affordable Care Act (referred to as “Obamacare”) is eventually implemented, some 630,000 uninsured veterans would qualify for the health care reform policy’s expanded Medicaid program and another 520,000 uninsured veterans could get subsidized health insurance coverage via the “insurance exchanges” the Act will create.

The rate of uninsured Veterans is also highest among African Americans and Hispanics. The rate of uninsured Black and Hispanic veterans is  8.1% and 8.7% respectively. And disturbingly in the United States, the rate of uninsured American Indian veterans tops 19 percent. Compared with insured veterans, uninsured veterans have served more recently, are younger, have lower levels of education, are less likely to be married, and are less connected to the labor force—all of which could contribute to lower access to employer-sponsored coverage.

Compared to a national rate of almost 11%, the states with the worst rates of uninsured veterans include Louisiana, Oregon, and Idaho all top 14 percent, and Montana comes in at a woeful 17.3 percent.



  1. Janice Woods

    October 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I am a homemaker, I have two sons that served in the military and to know that they didn’t have just the basic medical insurence is unbelievable, especially in United States, shame on them. That’s why it so important that every American should VOTE.

  2. I can't say no to you

    June 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Why do they not get more education while they are in the military?

  3. Staff Contributor

    May 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Our military veterans deserve much better treatment upon their return home. Can you imagine surviving Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan only to succumb to lack of medical care at home.

  4. littleblackvillage

    May 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    As a Gulf War Vet I very much appreciate this article. I think more support is needy for all of our military veterans who were honorable discharge. Too often our needs are just swept under the rug. Thank you for sharing this article.

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