157261 Understanding Barriers to Health Care for Immigrants

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 9:24 AM

Adam Gurvitch, MS , New York Immigration Coalition, New York, NY
Mara K. Youdelman, JD, LLM , National Health Law Program, Washington, DC
Sonal Ambegaokar, JD , National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles, CA
The New York Immigration Coalition, the National Health Law Program, and the National Immigration Law Center will offer an overview of state/ federal policies that hinder access to health care for immigrants. Federal laws (including the 5 year bar from public benefits imposed on new lawful permanent residents, sponsor liability under an affidavit of support, and citizenship documentation requirements from the Deficit Reduction Act) affect state policies towards immigrants accessing health care. Yet states vary in approach to these laws and advocacy can ameliorate conditions for immigrants that result from them. In addition to these barriers, immigrants must contend with other issues, such as language access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients and concerns about seeking health care or public benefits that results from a contentious anti-immigration climate. Nearly 47 million people speak a language other than English at home and are unable to access health care services due to language barriers. In addition, the rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric, new restrictions, or misapplication of rules such as public charge creates fear and results in a chilling effect on immigrants' ability to access health care services. Panelists will present best practices to reduce restrictions to health care, to meet the linguistic and cultural needs of immigrants, and to tackle localized and systemic discrimination against immigrants in the health care setting.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will recongize state and federal barriers immigrants face when accessing public insurance and health care. 2. Participants will apply what they learn to analyzing the barriers and opportunities for immigrant health care in their own states. 3. Participants will be able to take successful strategies and apply them to their own local and state districts.

Keywords: Access, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.