Medically Uninsured Refugees and Immigrants

  • Lane P. Johnson


Lola and Raul Rodriquez, and their 16 year old daughter Lolita, immigrated legally to the US from Peru in the mid 1990s, following their son, Raul, who had come alone earlier and who had permanent residency status. Raul, Sr., 50, a professor at a dental school in Peru, spoke very little English. He helped Lola in caring for children at their home. When Raul had a heart attack 3 years later, they had no insurance. The cardiologist waived his fee and continued to follow Raul for free, but they continued paying $50 a month to the hospital for many years, and struggled to buy his five daily medications.

Eventually, Lola found work supervising at a commercial cleaning business, but still did not have insurance. Raul began work as a caretaker for the elderly, with an agency. They have both become American citizens; now make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, and still do not have insurance through their work. They are hoping to have enough eligible quarters of work to be eligible for Medicare when Raul retires.


Immigrant Population Rheumatic Heart Disease Illegal Immigrant Undocumented Immigrant Immigrant Health 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona Health Sciences CenterTucsonUSA

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