Health Care Experiences of Hispanics in New and Traditional US Destinations
Over the past 15 years, striking new settlement patterns have emerged that have brought about unprecedented geographic dispersion in the population of approximately 45 million Hispanics in the United States. In this study, the authors compare the health care experiences of working age U.S.-born Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants living in new and traditional Hispanic destinations. They use a geocoded version of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component linked to contextual data from secondary sources. They characterize destinations as new or traditional using information on the percentage of the population that was Hispanic in 1990 and the growth in percent Hispanic between 1990 and 2000. The authors find that, compared with living in destinations with a well-established Hispanic presence, U.S.-born Mexican Americans living in new destinations have less favorable health care outcomes, including a greater probability of having an unmet need for or delay in receiving medical care and reduced satisfaction with care.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mexican immigrants to the U.S. are nearly three times more likely to be without health insurance than non-Hispanic native citizens. To inform strategies to increase the number of insured within this population, we elicited immigrants' understanding of health insurance and preferences for coverage. Nine focus groups with Mexican immigrants were conducted across the State of North Carolina. Qualitative, descriptive methods were used to assess people's understanding of health insurance, identify their perceived need for health insurance, describe perceived barriers to obtaining coverage, and prioritize the components of insurance that immigrants value most. Individuals have a basic understanding of health insurance and perceive it as necessary. Participants most valued insurance that would cover emergencies, make care affordable, and protect family members. Barriers to obtaining insurance included cost, concerns about immigration status discovery, and communication issues. Strategies that address immigrants' preferences for and barriers to insurance should be considered.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe the health and healthcare experiences of immigrant Latinos compared to USA-born Latinos, Whites, and African Americans in Greater Cincinnati, Ohio, a nontraditional immigrant destination area. Immigrant Latinos had significantly worse physical and mental health than other groups and significantly more barriers to healthcare. Latinos rated the degree to which their town is socially accepting of Latinos. Lower social acceptance was correlated with worse mental health and more barriers to healthcare. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping techniques revealed geographic patterns in the association between social acceptance of Latinos and health outcomes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A key facet of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is the expansion of health insurance coverage. However, even with the PPACA, an estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants will remain uncovered. The majority of the remaining uncovered immigrant population is of Mexican origin. We assess the long-term benefits and short-term costs of providing coverage to male migrants from Mexico, employing data from the 2007-2011 Mexican Migration Project (MMP) and the 2009 Medical Expenditures Panel (MEPS) survey. Our results show that health status prior to migration, age at time of interview, emigrating from Central Mexico, and use of health services in the U.S. all predict declines in health at a significant level. We also find that having spent more than 10 cumulative years in the U.S. has borderline significance in predicting health decline (p=.052). Estimated coverage costs for health insurance for largely undocumented immigrants increase over time, but remain lower than those of comparable U.S.-born individuals. We conclude with several policy implications.