Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health

Field of Study

Health Management and Policy

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kristine Lykens

Abstract

The study is a secondary data analysis of the Health Insurance Coverage Among Working Latinos in California, 2001 Survey. The study examined the relationship between health insurance coverage type (employer-sponsored, self-purchased, government-sponsored, and uninsured) and a variety of demographic and social/cultural variables and motivational factors to determine the likelihood of the take-up of health insurance coverage by Latino workers in California in 2001. The study surveyed 1,000 working California residents of Latino descent and asked respondents about their health status, access to health care, and type of health insurance coverage they possessed. Factors affecting insurance status and type of coverage were explored further through binary, logistical and multi-nomial regression analyses. The study’s findings demonstrate that acculturation, years of U.S. residency, household income, educational attainment, certain motivational factors, employment industry, union membership and hours worked per week are all significant predictors of Latino employees’ take-up of health insurance coverage. The findings also demonstrate that U.S. immigrant Latino laborers are especially at risk of not possessing any form coverage. A variety of health care reform policy recommendations and implications for practice are described in an effort to provide solutions for alleviating the access barriers Latino employees frequently encounter as a result of being uninsured or under-insured. Therefore, policymakers should take into consideration the varying levels of employment and the fact that many industries that employ Latino laborers simply do not offer adequate health insurance benefits. Lawmakers must also explore the eligibility requirements government sponsored coverage contain in an effort to provide programs that offer coverage to Latino laborers and their families. Failure to provide adequate health insurance coverage to this significant and rapidly-growing demographic of the U.S. population may have serious affects for future generations, to the general public’s health and welfare, and to the economic well-being of the U.S. economy.

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