The Other US Border: Health Insurance Coverage Among Latino Immigrants In Puerto Rico

Alexandra C. Rivera-González, Jim P. Stimpson, Dylan H. Roby, Glorisa Canino, Jonathan Purtle, Scarlett L. Bellamy, Alexander N. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Puerto Rico is a US territory and a popular destination for Latino immigrants in the Caribbean. Even with few language and cultural barriers, however, many Latino immigrants in Puerto Rico are uninsured. Using data from the 2014–19 Puerto Rico Community Survey, we examined inequities in health insurance coverage for non–Puerto Rican Latinos ages 18–64 living in Puerto Rico according to citizenship status and Latino subgroup (Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, and other Latino). After controlling for potential confounders, we found that noncitizen Dominicans had a significantly lower probability of having any health insurance (57.2 percent) and having any private insurance (31.5 percent). Regardless of similarities in culture and language, Latino immigrants on the island, particularly Dominicans, experience major health insurance coverage inequities. Considering that Puerto Rico’s immigration system is regulated by US federal statute, both federal and local policy makers should acknowledge and focus on reducing these immigrant disparities in health insurance coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1125
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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