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J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Apr;16(2):204-10. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9754-8.

Healthcare coverage and use among undocumented Central American immigrant women in Houston, Texas.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA, jrmontea@bcm.edu.

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.

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