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US Hispanic's challenges with healthcare highlight an untapped opportunity for marketers, providers

The data: Overall, Hispanics are less likely than other Americans to have health insurance and get preventative medical care, per Pew Research.

  • Less than half (48%) of recent Hispanic immigrants say they have a primary care provider.
  • More than half (52%) of Hispanic adults under age 30 don’t have a primary care provider.

The challenges: Access to healthcare services is a problem for a large segment of this population for several reasons.

1. The system itself.

Hispanic adults are most dissatisfied with healthcare (21%)—as in insurance, medical services, and drugs—over all other industries, including financial services (20%) and housing (20%), per a McKinsey Institute for Latino Economic Mobility report.

This sentiment is shared by many adults in the country.

  • Out of 47 industries benchmarked by The American Customer Satisfaction Index, health insurance companies ranked 36th, while hospitals took the 44th spot.

2. Language.

  • 46% of Hispanics have a close friend or family member who needs a Spanish-speaking healthcare provider or translator, per Pew.
  • But more than half who described themselves as English dominant (51%) and bilingual (52%) said it was “hard to understand the process of getting care.”

3. Age.

57% of young Hispanics (ages 18 to 29) said they didn’t understand how to get healthcare, compared with 40% 65+.

  • Younger people are generally healthier than older people and may not have a lot of experience accessing healthcare on their own.
  • Seniors 65+ likely have more health issues and experience with healthcare services and systems. And most qualify for Medicare, which has its own complexities.

The opportunity: Healthcare providers need to reach and educate young Hispanic adults where they live—on their mobile devices and on social media platforms.

  • 79.1% of Hispanic households are “mobile only” and another 12.2% are “mostly mobile,” per the National Center for Health Statistics.
  • 87.4% of Hispanics between 25 and 29 are wireless only, the highest penetration, followed by those between 30 and 34 (86.4%).

We forecast that 46 million US Hispanics are social network users in 2022, or 71.1% of the US Hispanic population.

  • Those numbers will climb to 51.1 million Hispanic users in 2026, representing 81.4% of the population.

Hispanics over-index for social media usage against other ethnic groups, per Claritas’ 2022 Hispanic Market Report.

  • Instagram and Snapchat are each used between three to five hours per week, while TikTok is used between one and five hours per week.
  • 56% of Hispanic households view at least one hour of YouTube per week.

Trendspotting: We’ve seen some healthcare brands boost their offerings in healthcare and online services to better serve the Hispanic population.

  • Telemental health provider Ginger added Spanish-language capabilities on its platform, including text-based mental health coaching and video-based psychiatry sessions.
  • Walmart expanded its Spanish-language search capability to include more than 600,000 of the most commonly ordered items.
  • U.S. Bank launched Asistente Inteligente, a Spanish-language mobile app that mirrors its Smart Assistant English-language app.

What’s next? It’s critical for every entity trying to provide healthcare services to reach young Hispanics and educate them on how to access your company’s products and services. As a young generation, winning their loyalty now could turn into years of value for your organization.

Go deeper: For more on the demographic differences in the US population, read our foundational report: Demographic Report: Generational Cohorts 2022.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.