Health care service utilization of documented and undocumented hired farmworkers in the U.S.

Report Author: 
Luo, T., & Escalante, C.L.
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Nov

Access to healthcare is a major concern for documented and undocumented immigrant farmworkers.  According to Luo and Escalante (2017), immigrants constitute over half of the U.S. agriculture sector, but are significantly less likely to seek health care services than other farmworkers. Furthermore, the authors' research revealed that undocumented farmworkers are 10.7% less likely to seek health care services than migrant workers with a legal immigration status. The lack of access to healthcare is problematic given the strenuous, physically demanding and dangerous nature of farm work with its high incidence of chemical exposure. Luo and Escalante found that language barriers and exclusionary criteria in immigration policy limiting certain migrants from receiving health benefits (e.g. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) are factors contributing to the low health care utilization rates of immigrant laborers. Additionally, undocumented farmworkers are more likely to pay for treatment out-of -pocket and to receive poorer quality of care. Understanding and addressing the causes of the gap in health care utilization by migrant laborers is imperative for health care providers, social services, the agricultural sector and policy makers. (Immigrant Integration Lab)

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Citation: 

Luo, T., & Escalante, C. L. (2017). Health care service utilization of documented and undocumented hired farmworkers in the U.S. The European Journal of Health Economics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10198-017-0939-x

Source Organization: 
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