A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine is confirming the role Medicare plays in decreasing disparities in health care access and coverage in the U.S. The authors, by analyzing 10 years of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) system, found that overall, health care access improved across racial lines for adults age 65 and over following Medicare enrollment.

In examining the links between Medicare eligibility and racial and ethnic disparities in access to care, the study found a 53% reduction between white and Black adults and a 51% reduction in the disparity between white and Hispanic adults. Disparity levels also dropped among specific U.S. regions at age 65, with Hispanic respondents experiencing the largest reductions in uninsured rates in the Midwest and South regions, with Black respondents in the Northeast and South regions having the largest reductions inlluninsured rates. 

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