Cover: Immigration Status and Health Insurance Coverage

Immigration Status and Health Insurance Coverage

Who Gains? Who Loses?

Published May 12, 2005

by Julia C. Prentice, Anne R. Pebley, Narayan Sastry

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Objectives: We compared health insurance status transitions of nonimmigrants and immigrants. Methods: We used multivariate survival analysis to examine gaining and losing insurance by citizenship and legal status among adults with the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. Results: We found significant differences by citizenship and legal status in health insurance transitions. Undocumented immigrants were less likely to gain and more likely to lose insurance compared with native-born citizens. Legal residents were less likely to gain and were slightly more likely to lose insurance compared with native-born citizens. Naturalized citizens did not differ from native-born citizens. Conclusions: Previous studies have not examined health insurance transitions by citizenship and legal status. Policies to increase coverage should consider the experiences of different immigrant groups.

Originally published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 95, no. 1, January 2005, pp. 109-116.

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