Reports

Health Coverage for Legal Immigrant Children: New Census Data Highlights Importance of Restoring Medicaid and SCHIP Coverage

Leighton Ku and Shannon Blaney Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

To examine changes in immigrants’ health insurance coverage, the report’s authors analyzed and compared the 1995 and 1999 Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), the most commonly used survey for health insurance trends. The examination focused on families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line. (Unless otherwise indicated, the immigrant children referred to in the report are noncitizens, but due to the way the CPS is compiled, it is not known how many are illegal aliens.)

The report found that low-income immigrant children were more than twice as likely to be uninsured in 1999 as were low-income citizen children with native-born parents (46 percent versus 20 percent). It also found that between 1995 and 1999, the proportion of low-income immigrant children enrolled in publicly funded coverage fell by 8 percentage points (to 28 percent), more than twice the drop for similar children of native-born parents. The authors also believe that many legal immigrant women who are pregnant are losing health insurance coverage.

Disparities in coverage are no surprise given the 1996 welfare and immigration laws’  restrictions on the eligibility of noncitizen legal immigrants for public benefits, including Medicaid. The 13 states opting to provide insurance for noncitizen legal immigrants who entered the U.S. after August 21, 1996, must bear the full cost.

The authors advocate restoring federal funds for Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children s Health Insurance Program) for noncitizen immigrant children and pregnant noncitizen immigrant women. They say this would increase access to preventative medicine and ease demand on local clinics and hospitals by decreasing the need for emergency care. 15 pages. Free. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 820 First St., NE, Ste. 510, Washington, DC 20002. www.cbpp.org/10-4-00health.htm.

-Amy Bracken

 

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Search

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top