Health Problems of Korean Americans: Access to Health Care

Koreans, as with other immigrant populations, have difficulties accessing the US health system. The healthcare system is difficult to navigate and lack of English proficiency compounds the problems. In addition many Korean immigrants lack health insurance. Large proportions of Korean Americans are uninsured (Carrasquillo O., et al., 2000). In Los Angeles County, the city with the largest number of Koreans outside of Korea, the proportion of the uninsured is more than 40%. (Brown, E.R., et. al., 2001). Many Korean Americans in Los Angeles are self-employed or work in small businesses that commonly do not provide health insurance, which may explain the large numbers of uninsured. (Brown, E.R., et. al., 2000).

In addition older recent Korean immigrants do not quality for Medicare. Many of their older Koreans immigrate to join their adult children in the US. The high rates of uninsured persons and inability to quality for Medicare for recent elderly Korean immigrants pose as important barriers to access to healthcare.