Published Date: October 10, 2023

Summary: Authors describe awareness about the modified “public charge” rule among Oregon’s Mexican-origin Latino/a population and if concerns about the rule influenced disenrollment from state-funded programs, which do not fall under the public charge.

Using questions from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), authors conducted a survey among adults at the Mexican consulate and living in the state of Oregon. Authors studied awareness (of the public charge, source of knowledge, and confidence in knowledge of the public charge) and disenrolling self or family members from state-funded public health care programs due to concerns about the rule. 

Findings: Of 498 Latino/a respondents, 48% reported awareness of the public charge. Of those aware of public charge, 14.6% had disenrolled themselves or family members from public health care programs, and 12.1% were hesitant to seek care due to concerns about the public charge. Higher education was associated with more awareness of the public charge; ability to speak English was not associated with awareness of the public charge.

This study reveals limited awareness about the public charge among Mexican-origin Oregon Latino/as. Outreach and advocacy are key to ensuring Latino/as know their rights to access available state-funded health care programs.

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