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Pregnant immigrants face inequities to prenatal care

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Immigration |

Many immigrants settle in New Jersey and have families. Prenatal care is an essential part of health for pregnant people and their babies. A recent study revealed that pregnant immigrants face inequities in prenatal care.

Immigrants most impacted

The study, conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University at Albany, SUNY, examined the level of prenatal care provided to pregnant immigrants between 2011 and 2019. Over 6 million pregnant individuals were viewed as part of the study. The researchers considered that New Jersey and some other states expanded Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. However, in spite of this, many pregnant immigrants faced disparities in their rate of prenatal care during their first trimester. It was found that around 73% of pregnant Hispanic immigrants received that care compared with 81% of American-born people of Hispanic heritage.

Difficulties obtaining healthcare

The researchers acknowledged that immigrants face challenges when it comes to accessing Medicaid. Many are confused about where to look and how to obtain health insurance. Those with low incomes are often excluded from options like Medicaid as well.

One of the study authors stressed the importance of prompt and regular access to prenatal care in helping both mother and baby stay healthy. She pointed out that Medicaid coverage is necessary prior to pregnancy so that immigrants could have health care coverage immediately.

The study author also pointed out that the prior restrictions imposed on Medicaid coverage harmed immigrants and led to these inequities in prenatal care. She stressed that the study encourages policymakers and healthcare professionals to acknowledge how exclusions can hurt immigrants and equate to racism.

All pregnant people deserve health care coverage and need prenatal care. It could help ensure better health for parents and babies.