E.g., 09/28/2023
E.g., 09/28/2023
Immigrant Children’s Medicaid and CHIP Access and Participation: A Data Profile
Policy Briefs
June 2022

Immigrant Children’s Medicaid and CHIP Access and Participation: A Data Profile

A child’s access to health care can have a long-term impact, with poor health in childhood linked to health complications and higher medical costs in adulthood. Many immigrant children in the United States face additional hurdles to staying healthy, including a higher likelihood of being in a low-income household and limits on their access to comprehensive health insurance through Medicaid and the companion Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—programs that help many U.S. children in low-income families access care.

Under federal law, certain noncitizen children are ineligible for federally funded nonemergency Medicaid and CHIP. This includes all unauthorized immigrants, many with a temporary status, and most lawful permanent residents (also known as green-card holders) during their first five years in that status.

This policy brief presents U.S. and state-level estimates of the number of immigrant children (ages 0 to 18) whose families have incomes low enough to qualify them for Medicaid and CHIP, and among them, the number who are either federally eligible or ineligible due to their immigration status. The brief also describes Medicaid and CHIP participation and uninsured rates among U.S.-born and federally eligible immigrant children. This analysis highlights trends across racial/ethnic groups and states that have and have not chosen to expand access to public health insurance for immigrant children.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction
CHIPRA Option and State Discretion

2  Federal Eligibility of Income-Eligible Children
A. Race and Ethnicity of Income-Eligible Immigrant Children
B. State-by-State Estimates of Income-Eligible Immigrant Children

3  Medicaid and CHIP Participation Rates
A. Participation Rates by Race and Ethnicity
B. State-by-State Participation Rates

4  Uninsured Rates among Income-Eligible Children

5  Conclusion