Hispanic Health Care
With a population growth of more than 56% over the last decade, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the U.S. Their numbers are not just growing; they’re growing at a significantly faster rate than other segments. As they grow in numbers, they are growing in spending power. From $600 billion today, the Hispanic market will become a $1 trillion market by 2008. That’s 40% growth over the next three years.
You’d think industries would be racing to cultivate this market. But for the most part, Hispanics are still under-served and under-addressed — especially in the health care arena. The reasons for this are partly cultural, and partly economic.
Some of the cultural reasons relate to perceptions and realities of how less acculturated Hispanics interact with the U.S. Health care industry. Many Hispanics are what the industry calls “non-compliant.” Doctor visits are less frequent and usually only when symptoms are evident (economics plays a role here, particularly insurability rates). With lower levels of insurance, unfamiliarity with the US Health Care system, and lower levels of income, how can health care profit with this market?
In the short term the ROI picture, at best, looks complicated. The long term is another story. This market presents a great opportunity. It also presents real challenges. Before you decide to enter it, be aware that cultivating the Hispanic market at this point will require a significant investment of time, education, and money. Over the next few days, I’m going to post a series of blogs that will explore reasons why the Health Industry should make the effort