Mexican Immigrants Account for 13% of U.S. Uninsured, Report Finds
A significant percentage of Mexican immigrants living in California and other states lack health insurance, according to a joint report by UCLA, UC-Berkeley and the Mexican government, Payers & Providers reports.
The report found that while Mexican immigrants make up only 4% of the U.S. population, they account for 13% of the country's uninsured residents.
According to the report, the number of uninsured Mexicans living in the U.S. has increased from 3.3 million in the mid-1990s to 6.4 million currently.
The report also found that:
- 53.5% of Mexicans living in the U.S. are uninsured, compared with 47.5% of all Central American immigrants and less than 11% of non-Latino immigrants;
- More than 70% of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. who work in the most injury-prone industries -- such as agriculture -- lack health insurance; and
- 38% of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. lack a consistent source of medical care, with half of such individuals relying on community clinics rather than private providers.
In addition, 34.5% of Mexican immigrants who become U.S. citizens still lack health insurance, according to the report.
The report concludes that "Mexican immigrants are the most vulnerable group in terms of access to health insurance, placing them in a position of high risk and vulnerability, since uninsurance means that they are likely to face high financial barriers to needed health care when they are injured or become seriously ill."
It adds, "Mexican-born immigrants benefit least from the public health programs designed to support the low-income population."In addition, the authors note that implementation of the Affordable Care Act is not expected to remedy the problem, as undocumented immigrants are barred from obtaining certain health coverage options under the law (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/17). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.