: race/ethnicity; health disparities; children; poverty; health insurance; unmet needs; perceived health status; medical care; dental care; prescriptions


Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences


nObjective:The aim of this study was to examine racial/ethnic disparities in unmet medical care, dental care and prescription medications and ease of using heath care services.

Methods:This is a cross sectional study of households in a six-county service region in Texas (Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Parker, Wise and Denton Counties). The participants included the parents/guardians of children aged 1-15 years. In 2012, a total of 8,439 parents completed the survey. In 2012, 4194 completed the version containing the health insurance type and unmet medical, prescription and dental health care and ease/difficulty in access to health care questions.The dependent variables in this study included perceived general health status; use of needed health care and ease/difficulty in access to health care services.

Results/Discussion: . Disparities exist and a key area to address is the lack of insurance or inconsistency of insurance coverage especially in minorities. Almost 10% of the children in the study population had a lapse of health insurance coverage during the previous 12 months. There was no significant difference between the unmet health care of those with public or private insurance. In addition, racial/ethnic disparities were found in the ease of access to preventive and dental services as well as care for an illness.