Almost 1 million Californians cross the border into Mexico for healthcare, many of them for dental care because they have no dental insurance, according to a study by the Center for Health Policy Research at UCLA.
The numbers may be even higher because the data used was gathered from a 2001 health interview survey and did not take into account the recession and rising unemployment of the last few years.
"We suspect the number has grown by leaps and bounds," said Gil Ojeda, executive director of the California Program on Access to Care, told the Sacramento Bee.
The study found that 77.6 percent of Mexican immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for less than 15 years have no dental insurance. Not surprisingly, the most common service obtained by immigrants crossing back into Mexico was dental care.
This summer, the state plans to eliminate the adult Denti-Cal program due to budget cuts.
"What's going to happen is that a lot of people are going to cross over the border to get their dental care," Ojeda said.
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