More Hispanic and Asian Children Uninsured Likely Due to Chilling Effect

New Jersey Policy Perspective
Date of Publication: 
October, 2019
Source Organization: 

In 2019, health insurance enrollment for children in New Jersey, particularly Hispanic and Asian children, reached its lowest level in five years. Children in immigrant and mixed-status households, where at least one family member is undocumented, are especially in danger of being uninsured. This brief by Raymond Castro, the Director of Health Policy at New Jersey Policy Perspective, illuminates the early effects of a Trump administration policy intending to deny green cards to immigrants enrolled or likely to enroll in social safety net programs. Although this policy had not yet been implemented in 2019 due to court battles, anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric created fear and mistrust among immigrant families and contributed to a decrease in child insurance enrollment. Castro draws on census data to illustrate the drastic drop in child insurance enrollment, the rising uninsured rate and the loss of federal matching funds in New Jersey. He warns of a possible rise in the total uninsured rate for children for the first time since the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010 and strongly recommends urgent action to address this problem at both the national and state levels. The author stresses the necessity of strategically targeting Hispanic and Asian immigrants to improve outreach and awareness of current state health insurance policy. Castro argues that taking proactive steps to insure all children in New Jersey is essential to promote child health and avoid additional costs to the state. (Olivia Pickard for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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New Jersey Policy Perspective. (2019). More Hispanic and Asian children uninsured likely due to chilling effect. Retrieved from