Health Insurance and Health-Care Utilization of U.S.-Born Mexican-American Children

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Abstract:

Objectives.

We document and model health insurance coverage and health-care utilization of very young, U.S.-born Mexican-American children relative to their non-Hispanic white and black counterparts. Methods.

We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and multivariate regression methods. Results.

Based on descriptive and multivariate analyses, the findings show that compared to non-Hispanic white children, Mexican-American children have lower rates of health insurance coverage and less health-care utilization. Mexican-American children born in the United States to foreign-born mothers utilize health care the least and are much more likely to be fully uninsured compared to other children. Conclusion.

The early health advantage of Mexican-origin children at birth runs the risk of being compromised by the time they reach age three as a result of poor access to healthcare. Greater health insurance coverage for Mexican-American children and, in particular, Mexican-American children of immigrants is needed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00428.x

Affiliations: Population Research Center and School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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