, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 146-155,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Oct 2010

Variations in Healthcare Access and Utilization Among Mexican Immigrants: The Role of Documentation Status

Abstract

The objective of this study is to identify differences in healthcare access and utilization among Mexican immigrants by documentation status. Cross-sectional survey data are analyzed to identify differences in healthcare access and utilization across Mexican immigrant categories. Multivariable logistic regression and the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition are used to parse out differences into observed and unobserved components. Mexican immigrants ages 18 and above who are immigrants of California households and responded to the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (2,600 documented and 1,038 undocumented immigrants). Undocumented immigrants from Mexico are 27% less likely to have a doctor visit in the previous year and 35% less likely to have a usual source of care compared to documented Mexican immigrants after controlling for confounding variables. Approximately 88% of these disparities can be attributed to predisposing, enabling and need determinants in our model. The remaining disparities are attributed to unobserved heterogeneity. This study shows that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are much less likely to have a physician visit in the previous year and a usual source of care compared to documented immigrants from Mexico. The recently approved Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not reduce these disparities unless undocumented immigrants are granted some form of legal status.