Ethnic-racial inequity in health insurance in Colombia: a cross-sectional study*

Viáfara-López et al.


Characterize the relationship between ethnic-racial inequity and type of health insurance in Colombia.


Cross-sectional study based on data from the 2019 Quality of Life Survey. We analyzed the type of health insurance (contributory, subsidized, or none) and its relationship to ethnic-racial status and predisposing variables (sex, age, marital status), demographic variables (area and region of residence), and socioeconomic variables (education, type of employment, income, and unmet basic needs) through simple and multivariate regression analyses. The association between ethnic-racial status and type of health insurance was estimated using odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals, through a multinomial logistic model.


A statistically significant association was found between ethnic-racial status and type of health insurance. In comparison with the contributory system, the probabilities of being a member of the subsidized system were 1.8 and 1.4 times greater in the indigenous population (OR x 1.891; 95%CI: 1.600-2.236) and people of African descent (OR = 1.415; 95%CI: 1.236-1.620), respectively (p <0.01) than in the population group that did not identify as belonging to one of those ethnic-racial groups.


There is an association between ethnic-racial status and type of insurance in the contributory and subsidized health systems in Colombia. Ethnic-racial status is a structural component of inequity in access to health services and heightens the disadvantages of people and population groups with low socioeconomic status.

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