The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that in California, African Americans who have health insurance are still more likely to use the ER and to delay getting needed prescription drugs than insured members of other racial and ethnic groups.

It’s not that African-Americans aren’t going to see their primary care physicians, but that we are more likely to delay getting needed prescription drugs. The current data suggests that the way in which health care providers deliver care to Black communities in California plays into the way we have responded. It then leads many Blacks to just go to the ER instead, which in California is relatively affordable and easy to access certain services.

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More than two-thirds of insured African Americans in California are enrolled in HMOs (67.3 percent, or 1.35 million), compared with 64.7 percent (4.5 million) of insured Latinos and 51.6 percent (8 million) of whites. -WLW