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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

VARGAS BUSTAMANTE, Arturo; LAUGESEN, Miriam; CABAN, Mabel  and  ROSENAU, Pauline. United States-Mexico cross-border health insurance initiatives: Salud Migrante and Medicare in Mexico. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.1, pp. 74-80. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000100011.

While U.S. health care reform will most likely reduce the overall number of uninsured Mexican-Americans, it does not address challenges related to health care coverage for undocumented Mexican immigrants, who will remain uninsured under the measures of the reform; documented low-income Mexican immigrants who have not met the five-year waiting period required for Medicaid benefits; or the growing number of retired U.S. citizens living in Mexico, who lack easy access to Medicare-supported services. This article reviews two promising binational initiatives that could help address these challenges-Salud Migrante and Medicare in Mexico; discusses their prospective applications within the context of U.S. health care reform; and identifies potential challenges to their implementation (legal, political, and regulatory), as well as the possible benefits, including coverage of uninsured Mexican immigrants, and their integration into the U.S. health care system (through Salud Migrante), and access to lower-cost Medicare-supported health care for U.S. retirees in Mexico (Medicare in Mexico).

Keywords : insurance; health; delivery of health care; border health; emigrants and immigrants; Medicare; Mexico; United States.

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