States Expand Access to Affordable Private Coverage for Immigrant Populations

By Justin Giovannelli and Rachel Schwab

The U.S. uninsured rate reached an historic low in early 2023, yet millions of people still lack comprehensive health coverage. Immigrants are disproportionately likely to be uninsured, which reduces their access to health care and increases their risk of incurring medical debt. This higher rate of uninsurance stems from systemic inequalities, including legal barriers to affordable coverage for noncitizens—especially undocumented immigrants. While state efforts to provide Medicaid-equivalent benefits to some populations of undocumented residents have helped expand access to coverage, many low- and moderate-income undocumented residents remain without affordable health insurance options.

In a recent post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Justin Giovannelli and Rachel Schwab explore recent state actions to fill this gap. The authors discuss how federally funded coverage programs currently exclude many immigrants and detail the unique obstacles faced by undocumented immigrants. The post then describes how four states are expanding access to private coverage for undocumented residents with incomes just above the Medicaid eligibility threshold.

You can read the full post here.

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