Published August 2, 2018
Congratulations to Clinical Assistant Professor Louanne Bakk and her colleague on the publication of their article, "Awareness of the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy among Older non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics," in Social Work in Public Health.
Bakk, L. & Cadet, T. (2018). Awareness of the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy among older non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. Social Work in Public Health.
Using nationally representative data from the Health and Retirement Study, this study examined (1) whether awareness of the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) varies by race and ethnicity among beneficiaries age 65 and older (N = 1,504), and (2) the impact of factors associated with health benefits knowledge and need for assistance on LIS awareness. Logistic regression results showed that compared with older non-Hispanic Whites, older non-Hispanic Blacks (odds ratio [OR] = .61, p < .001) and Hispanics (OR = .55, p < .01) were less likely to be aware of the LIS. Ethnic differences in LIS awareness were largely explained by language or Spanish-speaking preference (OR = 1.07, p = .808). However, accounting for demographics, health and socioeconomic status, and language did not reduce racial disparities (OR = .63, p < .01). Differences in LIS awareness among racial and ethnic minority groups highlight the need for culturally and linguistically sensitive community-based education, communication, programs, and services that increase knowledge of and access to this critical support.