Health knows no borders…
Undocumented people and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients are not eligible for the Affordable Care Act at the national level. 11 million people in the United States are undocumented. In California, an estimated 1.4 million are without care.
This exclusion leads people to delay care or accumulate thousands of dollars in medical debt. Some wait months or years for surgery on county lists, or even die.
The wellness and health of our families depends on access to medical care and support services. With regular medical care and visits to the doctor, we can protect our loved ones from painful, expensive – and easily treatable – medical conditions.
There is a need to care for and protect our vulnerable populations in California a responsibility that requires our courage. Undocumented people are a fundamental part of our country, and our state of California. The undocumented community takes care of California every day, and it is important that California take care of us. Health care is a human right.
UndocuVoices on Health
Immigrant youth share their thoughts and experiences on being Undocumented and Uninsured
Undocumented and Uninsured is the first study about and by immigrant youth on health care access. The Healthy California cohort of 2013 led the research that developed into the reports. Researchers surveyed 550 immigrant youth throughout California including undocumented youth and youth recently granted Deferred Action status.
Immigrants’ health and wellbeing is connected to the conditions of their political and social environment. Being undocumented in the United States results in a high potential for systematic and personal trauma; many face incarceration, deportation, loss of wages and personal relationships, career and life barriers, discrimination, and criminalization. These circumstances impact their health and well being; mentally, physically, and emotionally.
71 percent of uninsured immigrant youth have an existing need to access a doctor or specialist about their own health; however, 53 percent stated that they have not
seen a doctor for more than a year.
50 percent of uninsured immigrant youth delayed getting the medical care they needed. Of those, 96 percent reported the main reason was cost or lack of insurance.
74 percent of immigrant youth report they resort to bandaid care for services, such as emergency MediCal, public hospitals, and community or county health clinics.
The Personal Journey
Alexa shares her experience in accessing health care in California and her participation as an intern researcher for the statewide research project on health care access for immigrant youth.
“Health care impacts us all, it is our responsibility to take care of one another” -Alexa
The following information is meant to provide service providers, health advocates and the undocumented and uninsured with information about immigrants and health care in California.
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