Public Health Insurance Expansion for Immigrant Children and Interstate Migration of Low-Income Immigrants

Vasil I. Yasenov, Duncan Lawrence, Fernando S. Mendoza, et al.
Date of Publication: 
November, 2019
Source Organization: 

The extension of state-funded health insurance to legal permanent resident children and pregnant women with less than five years of residency in the United States does not lead to greater in-migration of immigrant adults from other states. This study utilizes data on 208,060 immigrants from the American Community Survey from 2000 through 2016 to compare migration rates for eligible and ineligible immigrants before and after the health insurance expansions. The data analysis shows that there is no association between in-migration and expansion of public health insurance. For example, the change in the rate of in-migration following coverage expansion was not higher than 1.78 percentage points for immigrant children and 1.38 percentage points for pregnant immigrant women, lower than the average move rate of 3 percent across the entire sample. In the light of these results, the authors conclude that states considering coverage expansion need not be concerned with in-migration and can instead focus on the cost-effectiveness of preventive pediatric and pre-natal health care. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Yasenov, V. I., Lawrence, D., Mendoza, F. S., Hainmueller, J. (2019). Public health insurance expansion for immigrant children and interstate migration of low-income immigrants. JAMA Pediatrics, 174(1). Retrieved from