Background. Health disparities between American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) may be partially explained in terms of health care access and utilization.

Methods. We examined access to and utilization of health care for urban AI/ANs and NHWs in National Health Interview Survey data (2006–09).

Results. Significant disparities exist for urban AI/ANs compared with urban NHWs. More AI/ANs are uninsured than NHWs, and more cited cost as the reason. More AI/ANs cannot afford needed medical care and more AI/ANs had not talked with a health care professional in the past year plus.

Conclusions. Urban AI/ANs have decreased health care utilization and greater barriers to access compared with NHWs. Study data on the magnitude of disparity between urban AI/ANs and NHWs provides needed information to improve health care access and use in this population and can serve as a baseline for understanding the impact of health care reform.


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pp. 1521-1536
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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