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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

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Latina Mothers' Perceptions of the Minnesota Healthcare System: Examining the Spillover Effects of Uninsurance on Healthcare Access, Quality, and Cost.

Garcia, Carolyn, Jose A. Pagin, Rachel Hardeman, and Alyssa Banks.

Compared with other states, Minnesota has a relatively high proportion of individuals with health insurance coverage, with more than 90% of all Minnesotans insured in 2007. However, not all Minnesotans are fortunate enough to have health insurance coverage. The cost of health insurance has skyrocketed during the last decade, making it relatively unaffordable and significantly impairing the ability of many families to access high-quality healthcare services. Minnesota is home to a growing community of Latino immigrants. According to the Urban Institute and Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, as of 2007, 18% of Latinos in Minnesota were uninsured. To better understand how access to health insurance impacts access to healthcare for Latinos, the authors interviewed Latina mothers in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota (a low uninsurance community) and McAllen-Edinburg, Texas (a high uninsurance community). They sought to identify any differences in access to, use of, cost of, and quality of healthcare services in these two communities for the insured versus the uninsured, as well as the barriers to healthcare system access in each community. The results indicated that overall, Minnesotans (both insured and uninsured) are satisfied with the healthcare services they receive. The areas of dissatisfaction with the healthcare system cited most often are the lack of affordability and relatively high costs. The results from the insured mothers suggest that even with health insurance coverage, they experienced other barriers to care. One interesting idea that emerged from both the insured and uninsured mothers was the concept of a payment plan or pay arrangement as a mechanism to make healthcare services more affordable. In addition, both the insured and uninsured mothers cited language barriers as an obstacle. Uninsured mothers most often reported delaying care for themselves or their children; others reported using home remedies as a first line of defense against illness. The uninsured mothers noted that safety net clinics played a significant role in providing healthcare. Overall, the findings from these focus groups lend credence to the oft-cited notion that our healthcare system in the United States is broken. The authors suggest several recommendations to help alleviate the plight of the uninsured in Minnesota and improve the care and experiences of Latinos who access the Minnesota healthcare system.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)
Supported in part by a grant from CURA's New Initiatives program. Additional funding was provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant number R24HS017003) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number 1H75DP001812-01).
38 (3-4): 12-21
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Reporter 38 (3-4)

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