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What Affects Access to Care and Health Care Coverage for Immigrants?

Jul 10th, 2009

health careThere is definitely a distinct difference in health care coverage in the United States based on non-elderly immigrant adults, Americans of second generation, and citizens born in the United States.  Primarily, studies have found that several factors contribute to lower healthcare coverage rates, as well as greater access barriers when it comes to immigrants.

Immigrants generally have a higher uninsured rate, as well as face great access barriers than United States born citizens.  Nevertheless, taking all of this into account, we need to ask ourselves why this happens.  Why do these immigrants not receive the same access to healthcare coverage as citizens that are born in the United States?

Is it because they do not have a good paying job; therefore, they cannot afford health insurance coverage?  Is it because they are required to meet a certain waiting period before applying for healthcare coverage?  Is it because they just don’t understand the important of healthcare coverage in the United States, where American born citizens do?

Although these are all valid questions, they actually have little or no relevance on the reasoning for the higher uninsured rate amongst immigrant people.  For the most part, these immigrant people eventually do gain access to health care and healthcare insurance as their language skills improve, as well as their job skills.  These two factors go hand in hand, as they steadily improve the immigrant’s economic well-being.

As the immigrants learn more about the United States health care system, and the rules and regulations that govern the state they live in, they generally obtain health insurance coverage that protects them and their families.

One of the issues facing health insurance companies today should be putting forth an effort to ensure that access barriers and coverage for these immigrants is readily available to reduce the segregation between the immigrants and United States born citizens.

Unfortunately, immigrants make up a diverse group of individuals coming from different countries, with different races and ethnicity, and economic conditions; therefore, when it comes to health care and insurances, health insurance companies may need to modify their outreach program to encompass the many conditions and beliefs that steer these new citizens into plans that are appropriate to their needs.

As with most groups, learning through education and improved social well-being and economic health will assist them to obtain health care protection sooner, as well as to participate in healthcare prevention programs.

Today, it is everyone’s responsibilities to meet the needs of the new citizens that we invite to our soil, and we can all do our part by making sure each new citizen knows where to go to find the healthcare coverage and protections they require.

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