Assimilation and Access to Health Care: Explaining Health Coverage Disparities among U.S. Hispanics

Chris Galvan, Pennsylvania State University

This paper assesses generational and nativity differences in health insurance coverage among Hispanics and native-born non-Hispanics. Despite the documented disparities in health insurance coverage and health care utilization both within the Hispanic population and between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, little research has systematically examined the differences in health insurance coverage across Hispanic generations and native-born non-Hispanics. Using pooled, cross-sectional data from the twelfth waves of the 2004 and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this study contributes to the existing literature via a systematic analysis of health insurance coverage of first, second, and third-plus generation Hispanics and third-plus generation non-Hispanics. Preliminary findings suggest that Hispanics are increasingly insured in later generations and third generation Hispanics are not significantly different, in terms of health coverage, from their native-born, non-Hispanic counterparts. However, language use appears to mediate the latter relationship.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality