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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 204–210 | Cite as

Healthcare Coverage and Use Among Undocumented Central American Immigrant Women in Houston, Texas

  • Jane R. MontealegreEmail author
  • Beatrice J. Selwyn
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigated the prevalence and correlates of having current healthcare coverage and of having a usual formal source of care among undocumented Central American immigrant women. Participants were recruited using respondent driven sampling. Thirty-five percent of participants had healthcare coverage and 43 % had a usual formal source of care. Healthcare coverage was primarily through the local indigent healthcare program and most of those with a usual formal source of care received care at a public healthcare clinic. Having healthcare coverage and having a usual formal source of care were both associated with older age; having a usual formal source of care was also marginally associated with increased time of residence in the US and increased income security. The primary barriers to healthcare use were not having money or insurance, not knowing where to go, and not having transportation. Healthcare interventions may benefit from targeting young and newly arrived immigrants and addressing the structural and belief barriers that impede undocumented immigrant women’s use of healthcare services.

Keywords

Undocumented immigrants Hispanic/Latino Healthcare access and utilization Respondent driven sampling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a Dissertation Research Grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant 1R36PS001440-01) and a Student Field Activities Award from The University of Texas School of Public Health. JRM is supported by a UTHealth Innovation for Cancer Prevention Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (The University of Texas School of Public Health—Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Grant # RP101503). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental SciencesThe University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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