Health Insurance Coverage of the Foreign Born in the United States: Numbers and Trends
This report examines health insurance coverage among the United States’ foreign-born population. Findings highlight differences in coverage rates between native citizens, naturalized foreign-born citizens, and noncitizens.
The report finds that foreign-born persons in the United States are much less likely to have health insurance coverage than natives. In 2002, 13 percent of the native population lacked health insurance coverage. In comparison, 33 percent of the foreign-born were uninsured. Among the foreign-born, coverage rates were significantly lower for non-citizens. 43 percent of non-citizens were uninsured, while the share of naturalized citizens without health insurance was much lower, at 18 percent.
The report’s analysis also suggests that the longer immigrants live in the United States, the more likely they are to obtain health insurance coverage. Some 46 percent of immigrants residing in the United States for less than 10 years were uninsured in 2002. The percentage of uninsured individuals drops to 34 percent for immigrants living in the United States for 10 to 19 years, and decreases even further to 18 percent for immigrants residing in the United States for over 20 years.