Barriers to Health Care Among Adults With Minoritized Identities in the United States, 2013–2017

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Objectives. To examine the relationship between minoritized identity and barriers to health care in the United States.

Methods. Nationally representative data collected from the 2013 to 2017 waves of the National Health Interview Survey were used to conduct descriptive and logistic regression analyses. Men and women were placed in 1 of 4 categories: no minoritized identities, minoritized identities of race/ethnicity (MIoRE), minoritized identities of sexuality (MIoS), or minoritized identities of both race/ethnicity and sexuality (MIoRES). Five barriers to health care were considered.

Results. Relative to heterosexual White adults and after controlling for socioeconomic status, adults with MIoRE were less likely to report barriers, adults with MIoS were more likely to report barriers, and adults with MIoRES were more likely to report barriers across 2 of the study measures.

Conclusions. Barriers to care varied according to gender, minoritized identity, and the measure of access to health care itself.

Public Health Implications. Approaching health disparities research using an intersectional lens moves the discussion from examining individual differences to examining the role of social structures such as the health care system in maintaining and reproducing inequality.

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Stephanie M. Hernandez, MS, and P. Johnelle Sparks, PhDThe authors are with the Department of Demography, University of Texas at San Antonio. “Barriers to Health Care Among Adults With Minoritized Identities in the United States, 2013–2017”, American Journal of Public Health 110, no. 6 (June 1, 2020): pp. 857-862.

PMID: 32298177