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"Undocumented older adults and fears seeking medical care"

California Health Report interviewed Steven P. Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and associate director of FSPH’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on fears among undocumented older adults in seeking health care amidst the current pandemic. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Micaela Roldan of Oxnard has lived in the United States for three decades without health insurance.

She has chronically swollen feet, and suffers from depression and insomnia stemming from the death of her son in a car accident two years ago. But the 63-year-old immigrant from Mexico avoids seeking medical care. Going to the doctor – even a low-cost health clinic – typically sets her back $25 plus the cost of medications, she said. She can’t afford that on her meager earnings selling popsicles on the streets of Oxnard.

These days, Roldan also worries about contracting COVID-19 because of her regular interactions with the public. Her older age and lack of consistent preventive care put her at high risk for serious complications and death if she gets the virus.