About one out of every five Latinx workers in this country lacks health insurance. The uninsured ratio rises to one in four in the states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs to more low-income workers under the Affordable Care Act. The motivation for Josefina Flores Morales’ new research is that there’s more to health insurance than just medical care. It is also critical to individuals’ financial health, she argues, and broader insurance coverage in the Latinx community is an underappreciated way that the vast wealth gap between them and non-Latinx White workers could be reduced. Having insurance keeps people healthy so they can continue to work and is important for other financial reasons. Insurance reduces the size of medical bills through caps on out-of-pocket costs and limits on how much doctors and hospitals can charge for their services. In cases of severe illness, insurance can prevent a…

Originally Published on https://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/

Kim Blanton Squared Away Blog Writer

I’m a veteran financial and economics reporter, most recently for The Boston Globe, who has also written for The Economist and other publications. I uncovered scandals during the savings and loan crisis in Texas back in the late 1980s, trekked around the world to cover finance and economics in the 1990s, and ventured into Boston neighborhoods to cover the recent subprime mortgage crisis.

While covering subprime mortgages, I began to see the importance of financial behavior and literacy. Wall Street excesses certainly fueled the crisis, but a poor understanding of complex financial products also played a major role. I interviewed dozens of homeowners in the grip of foreclosure who had agreed to home loans that they did not understand and that their brokers did not or could not explain to them. The consequences for these individuals – and the country – were disastrous.

I use the same dogged reporting skills to cover financial issues of growing importance today, including the personal crisis that concerns millions of baby boomers: Retirement.

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