A Doctor When We Need One

Access to Healthcare in Wisconsin for Immigrant Children and Families

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

September 23, 2011

Summary

This policy brief explores the unique hurdles that Wisconsin’s immigrant families face when trying to navigate America’s complex health care system. It also shares ideas for enhancing access so that everyone — regardless of their native tongue, citizenship status or financial means — can receive timely, frustration-free medical care.  

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Immigrant families in Wisconsin face significant health care hurdles

For immigrant families in Wisconsin, visiting the doctor is a necessary, but sometimes daunting, task. Common barriers to care include language divides, cultural differences, financial hardship and citizenship status.   

Just 9% of all Wisconsinites lacked health care coverage in 2009. This same statistic triples — to more than 30% — for the state’s foreign-born residents.  

Findings & Stats

The Financial Factor

Foreign-born individuals are far more likely than their U.S. counterparts to earn $25,000 or less. Small paychecks coupled with steep prices for private insurance mean that many immigrant families go without and put off medical care unless absolutely necessary.

Statements & Quotations