Immigrant Perceptions of Discrimination in US Health Care

Diane S. Lauderdale, University of Chicago
Ming Wen, University of Utah
Namratha Kandula, Northwestern University

Previous research about US health care disparities has been organized around race/ethnicity, with little information about whether immigrants are more likely to experience discrimination in the health care system than the US-born. Because immigrants are clustered in certain racial and ethnic groups, failure to account for immigration status could distort the measurement of race/ethnicity effects. Using a large, population-based sample of California residents, we find that immigrants are more likely to report discrimination in health care than US-born persons of the same race/ethnicity, even after controlling for socioeconomic, language and health care access factors. For Asians and Latinos, increased perceptions of discrimination are specific to the foreign-born. US-born Asians actually report less discrimination than US-born Whites. US-born Latinos report similar levels to US-born Whites, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, language and access. For Blacks, immigration status has little additional effect on perceptions of discrimination in health care.

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Presented in Session 104: Immigrant Health