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International Journal for Equity in Health

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Public healthcare programs -- Latinos/as


Objective We describe awareness about the modified “public charge” rule among Oregon’s Mexican-origin Latino/a population and whether concerns about the rule influenced disenrollment from state-funded programs, which do not fall under the public charge. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey of adults (ages 18–59) recruited at the Mexican consulate and living in the state of Oregon. Our outcomes were awareness (of the public charge, source of knowledge, and confidence in knowledge of the public charge) and disenrolling self or family members from state-funded public healthcare programs due to concerns about the rule. We described outcomes and used logistic regression and calculated adjusted probabilities to identify factors associated with awareness of the public charge. Results Of 498 Latino/a respondents, 48% reported awareness of the public charge. Among those who knew about the public charge, 14.6% had disenrolled themselves or family members from public healthcare programs and 12.1% were hesitant to seek care due to concerns about the public charge. Younger respondents had a lower adjusted probability of awareness of the public charge (18–24 years: 15.6% (95% CI 3.1–28.2); 30–39 years 54.9% (95% CI 47.7– 62.0). Higher education was associated with a higher adjusted probability of awareness of the public charge; ability to speak English was not associated with awareness of the public charge. Conclusion Our study reveals limited awareness about the public charge among Mexican-origin Oregon Latino/as. Outreach and advocacy are essential to ensure Latino/as know their rights to access available state-funded healthcare programs.


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