Below is an excerpt from ISS ESG’s thought leadership paper “Addressing Health Disparities Amid the Pandemic.” The full paper is available for download from the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) online library.
The issue of health disparities has received increased attention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, largely due to the disproportionate impact of the virus on minorities and low-income groups in the United States. An analysis of hospital billings found that adults 65 and older with incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid, a federal health insurance program for low-income Americans, have higher rates of coronavirus infection than higher-earning older adults. Low-income workers are more likely to hold jobs deemed ‘essential’, putting them at higher risk of infection. Additionally, underlying health issues, found to be more prevalent among low-income adults, and lack of health insurance could also be driving more severe caseloads among low-income Americans.
By Allison Marill, Analyst, ESG Ratings, ISS ESG