Immigrant Families Benefit Significantly From Obamacare …

by Marguerite Telford –
The Center For Immigration Studies –

… [Illegal Foreigners] Accounted for 42% of Medicaid Growth Since 2011

WASHINGTON, DC (November 13, 2014) — A key part of the Affordable Care Act is Medicaid expansion for those with low incomes. A new analysis of government data by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under age 18) have been one of the primary beneficiaries of Medicaid growth. The data show that immigrants and their children accounted for 42 percent of the growth in Medicaid enrollment from 2011 to 2013. It seems almost certain that immigrants and their children will continue to benefit disproportionately from Obamacare as they remain much more likely than natives to be uninsured or poor. The available evidence indicates that the Medicaid growth associated with immigrants is largely among those legally in the country.

Commenting on the results, the Center’s Director of Research and co-author of the report, Steven Camarota said, “The high rate and significant growth in Medicaid associated with immigrants is mainly the result of a legal immigration system that admits large numbers of immigrants with relatively low-levels of education, many of whom end up poor and uninsured. This fact, coupled with the extensive supports we provide to low-income residents, unavoidably creates very significant costs for taxpayers.”

View the entire report at: http://cis.org/immigrant-families-accounted-for-42-percent-of-medicaid-growth-since-2011

Among the findings:
• The number of immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) on Medicaid grew twice as fast as the number of natives and their children on Medicaid from 2011 to 2013 — 11 percent vs. 5 percent.
• Immigrants and their children accounted for 42 percent of Medicaid enrollment growth from 2011 to 2013, even though they accounted for only 17 percent of the nation’s total population and 23 percent of overall U.S. population growth over this time period.
• About two-thirds of the growth in Medicaid associated with immigrants was among immigrants themselves, rather than the U.S.-born children of immigrants.4
• The increase in Medicaid enrollment among immigrants and their children can be roughly estimated as costing $4.6 billion annually.5
• By 2013, 25 percent of immigrants and their children were on Medicaid, compared to 16 percent of natives and their children.
• Partly because of increased Medicaid enrollment, the share of immigrants and their children without health insurance declined more dramatically than for natives, from 28 percent in 2011 to 23 percent in 2013 — a five percentage-point decline. Among natives and their children, it fell from 13 percent to 11 percent — a two percentage-point decline.
• Medicaid accounted for 41 percent of the decline in uninsurance associated with immigrants, while it accounted for only 24 percent of the decline in uninsurance among natives and their children.
• Although Medicaid use among immigrants and their children is substantially higher than for natives and their children, it is still the case that 23 percent of immigrants and their children were uninsured in 2013 — twice the rate for natives.
• Overall, nearly half (48 percent) of immigrants and their children were uninsured or on Medicaid in 2013, compared to slightly over a quarter of natives (27 percent).

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

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