Health Care for Undocumented Migrants: European Approaches

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European countries have smaller shares of undocumented migrants than does the United States, but these individuals have substantial needs for medical care and present difficult policy challenges even in countries with universal health insurance systems. Recent European studies show that policies in most countries provide for no more than emergency services for undocumented migrants. Smaller numbers of countries provide more services or allow undocumented migrants who meet certain requirements access to the same range of services as nationals. These experiences show it is possible to improve access to care for undocumented migrants. Strategies vary along three dimensions: 1) focusing on segments of the population, like children or pregnant women; 2) focusing on types of services, like preventive services or treatment of infectious diseases; or 3) using specific funding policies, like allowing undocumented migrants to purchase insurance.

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Publication Date:
December 6, 2012
Authors:
Bradford Gray, Ewout van Ginneken

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