African-Americans more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19

African-Americans were nearly four times more likely than the US’ white population to be hospitalized with COVID-19, according to federal data.

African-Americans with Medicare, a national health insurance program, accounted for 465 coronavirus hospitalizations per 100,000 enrollees, data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed on Monday.

That is nearly four times the rate for whites, which was 123 per 100,000 enrollees, according Xinhua news agency quoted the data as saying.

The rate for Hispanics stood at 258 hospitalizations per 100,000, about twice the rate of whites, while Asians were about one-and-a-half times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, the data showed.

“It reconfirms long-standing issues around disparities and vulnerable populations,” said Medicare administrator Seema Verma.

“Race and ethnicity are far from the only story.”

More than 325,000 people on Medicare were diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 1 and May 16, and 110,000 people on Medicare were hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis this year through May 16, according to the data.

Medicare payments for fee-for-service hospitalizations totalled $1.9 billion, with an average cost of $23,094 per hospitalization, the CMS said.

Medicare has 60 million enrollees across the US, most of whom are aged 65 or older.

Also covered are younger people who qualify because of disabilities.

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