Undocumented Immigrants Account for One-Third of Rise in the Uninsured
Undocumented immigrants accounted for about one-third of the 8.7 million increase in the number of uninsured U.S. adults between 1980 and 2000, according to a study published this week in the November/December issue of Health Affairs, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. For the study, RAND researchers analyzed data from about 2,400 Los Angeles County residents in 2000 and 2001 and applied the results nationwide (Freking, AP/Long Island Newsday, 11/10).
The study found that 65% of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County lacked health insurance, compared with 12% of native-born U.S. residents, 18% of naturalized citizens and 32% of green card holders. In addition, the study found that 8% of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County were enrolled in Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, compared with 13% of U.S.-born citizens and 10% of naturalized citizens and green card holders (Dinan, Washington Times, 11/11).
According to the study, about one in five undocumented immigrant adults receives health insurance through his or her employer, but "virtually none of them purchase it on their own," the AP/Newsday reports (AP/Long Island Newsday, 11/10). The study also said, "Even for undocumented immigrants with health insurance at a point in time, the odds that they will maintain it are little more than 50-50" (Washington Times, 11/11). The study is available online.