Freelance Contribution by Sally Writes
Black American men have the lowest life expectancy of any ethnic group, according to Atlanta News Now. On average, black men live 4.4 years less than Caucasian men. But, the good news is that, since 1999, life expectancy rates for black men have continuously increased. The CDC reports that this is due to better health care being made available for common illnesses, such as heart disease. But with there still being a significant gap, is America’s health care system providing the same benefits to black males as it does to the rest of the nation?
Accessible health insurance
In 2013, 19% of black people had no health insurance. In comparison, just 12% of whites lacked health coverage. However, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 has helped to narrow the gap and has reduced the number of uninsured black individuals in America. Latest figures show that 11% of black people are without health insurance, while 7% of white Americans don’t have health cover.
Affordable health care
Americans can expect to pay $68 for a 10-minute appointment with their doctor to discuss a minor ailment, according to Debt.org. This price tends to be more affordable for men from non-Hispanic white families as their average income is $68,145. In comparison, a man from the average black family will have a household income of $40,258. Thankfully, financial assistance for health-related costs from the government is available for all ethnicities. All eligible individuals can utilize services such as Medicaid to cover the costs of doctor trips, prescriptions, and necessary treatment.
Preventative health care
Research shows that black Americans are 10% less likely to undergo cholesterol screenings. Meanwhile, the CDC reports that American black men are almost 10% more likely to have high blood pressure than white American men. The introduction of free preventive health screenings aims to keep the nation’s black men healthy. Whereas, a number of health facilities across the U.S. have adopted new approaches to black health care, including Detroit where they’ve used video technology to improve knowledge and to increase blood pressure management in black Americans.
Black American men are able to access the same health care options as all other ethnicities. And recent changes to the federal system mean that an increasing number of Black Americans are insured or can claim Medicaid. While there are noticeable differences in the preventative health care that black and white men receive, it’s satisfying to see that action is being taken to overhaul this.