Experiencing Unmet Medical Needs or Delayed Care Because of Cost: Foreign-Born Adults in the U.S. by Region of Birthedit
Healthy People 2020 in the United States highlights timely access to necessary health care as a major factor that can reduce health-related disparities. This study examined the prevalence of delaying/missing necessary health care because of cost among foreign-born adults (26+ years old) in the United States by their region of origin, after controlling for geographic clustering at the county and state levels. Methods. Using the pooled 2007–2011 National Health Interview Survey and linked state/county-level data, this study analyzed data on 61,732 foreign-born adults from nine regions of birth. Three-level multilevel modeling (state > county > individual) was conducted. The age-adjusted percentages of foreign-born adults who delayed/missed necessary health care because of cost varied by region of birth, ranging from 7.0% (Southeast Asia) and 11.9% (Europe) to 15.5% (Mexico/Central America/Caribbean) and 16.7% (the Middle East). However, after controlling for geographic clustering and other individual-level covariates (e.g., insurance), adults from Mexico/Central America/Caribbean were less likely to delay or not receive necessary care compared to their counterparts from all other parts of the world except for those from Asian regions. This study implies that disparities can be reduced if some known risk factors (e.g., insurance) are improved among foreign-born adults.