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Immigrant Access to Health Insurance and Medical Care - Essay Example

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The ever-increasing costs of health care coupled to the decrease in health insurance coverage have acted to pose a long-term challenge that affects all Americans. However, these problems are even direr for immigrants in the United States with very low health insurance coverage and minimal access to health care…
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Immigrant Access to Health Insurance and Medical Care
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Download file to see previous pages Since many of them do not have health insurance, a single hospitalization is enough to drive most into financial insolvency and debt. Lack of health insurance in America approximately costs between $60 and $130 billion every year resulting from impairment of health and lost productive years of all uninsured people, let alone immigrants . Legal and illegal immigrants usually rely on a makeshift system of free hospitals and safety-net clinics, or even medical care at reduced prices, such as in the county and state owned facilities. They also have to rely on religious and charity-affiliated facilities. Immigrant reliance on these systems has led most communities and states, to voice their concern about health care costs that are uncompensated for these uninsured immigrants and the resultant local and state fiscal burdens.
Access of Immigrants to Health Insurance Data from the US census indicates that it is more likely for immigrants to be uninsured than it is for native-born Americans. Non-citizen immigrants are thrice as likely to have no insurance at 44% as native-born Americans at 13% (Loue 782). Naturalized citizens come in at 17% being un-insured. Those who recently immigrated into the United States are more likely to be sans insurance with their rates of insurance increasing as their income increases. This can be explained by the fact that immigrants tend to get quality jobs with time and because their income increases with job experience and age. However, fewer immigrants tend to possess employer-sponsored insurance, which explains their lower insurance levels despite their high employment rates (Loue 782). The discrepancy between native-born citizens and immigrants persists in those that have income of less than $33,000 a year in a family of three (Loue 783). In the low-income category, 23% of native-Americans are uninsured when compared to 56% non-citizen immigrants. However, when low-income populations are considered, the reason for the insurance gap also changes. The main reason for this coverage difference among low-income citizens and immigrants has to do with fewer immigrants having access to public coverage for instance, Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the elderly. Immigrants with low incomes also have minimal chances of possessing coverage sponsored by the employer or private means, although these gaps tend to narrow. Although, this data does not reveal the legality of these immigrants, it is vital that we recognize that sort of immigrants working and living in the US affects the profiles. Annually, the proportion of unauthorized immigrants has increased, which has caused the proportion of those who come in illegally to drop (Loue 783). These illegal immigrants are not eligible for state funded benefits and find it more difficult to secure private insurance. Private Health Insurance Access Insurance sponsored by the employer is the main form of health insurance for a majority of Americans, although this is not true ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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