Study Finds Health Insurance Gaps Among Hispanic Immigrants
Latin American immigrants are in better overall health than most non-Latino whites, but their health worsens the longer they reside in the U.S., according to a report released on Monday by UC-Berkeley, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Researchers linked the declining health among Latin American immigrants to poor access to health care services, partly because of financial barriers.
Steven Wallace, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, said, "Despite taking the large number of dangerous jobs in the country, (immigrants) are not offered the basic necessities such as health insurance, where they are literally putting their life on the line."
However, researchers found that "Mexican immigrants report fewer chronic conditions overall, spend fewer days in bed because of illness and have lower mortality rates than U.S.-born non-Latino whites."
The report also found that nationwide, only 20% of Mexican immigrants have health insurance coverage and that 25% of Mexican immigrant adults live below the federal poverty level.
The study was conducted by the UCLA and UC-Berkeley schools of public health, the UC Office of the President and the Health Initiative of the Americas (Terry-Cobo, Contra Costa Times, 10/23).
The report is available online (.pdf).