Health care use among elderly Mexicans in the United States and Mexico: The role of health insurance

Rebeca Wong, Juan José Díaz, Monica Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The authors sought to contribute to public policy on U.S. immigrants by comparing patterns of health care use among the Mexican-origin population aged 70 and older in the United States and Mexico. They studied the role of health insurance in the propensity to have doctor visits and hospitalizations, controlling for aspects of health and the economic and sociodemographic characteristics of individuals. The authors found that the elderly of Mexican origin in the United States were more likely to be hospitalized than those in Mexico, regardless of health insurance. However, in the absence of health insurance, visits to doctors were more likely in Mexico than in the United States. The results indicate that although in both countries, the availability of health insurance is associated with a higher propensity to use any health care services, a lack of health insurance may have more negative consequences for primary health care in the United States than in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Health care
  • Immigrant
  • Mexico

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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