Immigrants make up disproportionate share of uninsured people in U.S.
Immigrant adults and children under the age of 65, including those who are undocumented, account for 8% of the U.S. population but make up nearly 32% of the uninsured population in the country, according to a new report from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Why it matters: During the pandemic, states were required to keep residents on their Medicaid rolls. But as they reassess who is eligible, the number of uninsured people nationwide will likely increase.
- Despite tax credits being available for Marketplace coverage through 2024, the majority of immigrants who are uninsured still won't be able to access coverage "solely because of their immigration status," the report says.
What they found: Researchers estimate that after Medicaid redeterminations take place this year, 8.6 million of the 27 million people who will be uninsured will be noncitizens.
The big picture: Most immigrants are not eligible for public health coverage under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program until they have lived in the U.S. for five years.
- Some states cover undocumented children and pregnant women in their Medicaid programs, and other states are working on parity programs to cover everyone.
- California, New York, Colorado and Washington state have proposed or are expanding health coverage for nonresidents either through Medicaid parity programs or their Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.
- Despite these state options, just 16.5% of uninsured noncitizens are eligible for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage, the report found.
What we're watching: The Biden administration has proposed offering coverage to undocumented children brought to the U.S. through the CHIP and the ACA Marketplaces.