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How Does Health Coverage and Access to Care for Immigrants Vary by Length of Time in the U.S.?

This analysis, based on data from the 2007 Health Tracking Household Survey, examines how health coverage and access to care for non-elderly adults vary based on immigrants’ length of time in the U.S. and between immigrants, second generation Americans and third generation and higher Americans. It also identifies the primary factors contributing to lower health coverage rates and greater access barriers among immigrants.

While, overall, immigrants have a high uninsured rate and face greater access barriers relative to U.S.-born residents, the findings suggest that many immigrants eventually gain insurance and improved access to health care as they acquire language and job skills, improve their economic standing and become more familiar with the U.S. health care system. Recent immigrants are most at risk for lacking coverage and facing access problems. Addressing coverage and access barriers for this group will be important to any effort to reduce overall disparities between immigrants and U.S.-born residents.

Executive Summary (.pdf)

Issue Brief (.pdf)

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.