Noncitizens in the United States under 65 years old will account for almost one third of those without health insurance in 2024, research found.
Research conducted by members of the Urban Institute, which studies social and economic policy, and backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a public health philanthropic organization, found that about 8.6 million noncitizens, including those who are in the country legally and illegally, are uninsured.
Noncitizens under 65 make up only 8 percent of the nonelderly population in the country, but make up a disproportionately large percentage of the uninsured.
President Biden announced last month that recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will become eligible to apply for Medicaid and enroll in Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges, but the research found that the administration’s efforts only cover a small amount of uninsured noncitizens.
The researchers found that the uninsured rate for nonelderly noncitizens will be almost four times higher than that for the entire nonelderly U.S. population next year, at 39.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.
Many of the uninsured noncitizens are limited in their ability to obtain health insurance because of federal or state eligibility restrictions.
Only 16.5 percent of noncitizens who are uninsured are eligible for programs like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program or subsidized marketplace coverage, according to the research. Two-thirds are ineligible because of their immigration status.
More than eight out of 10 uninsured noncitizens live in families with at least one member who is employed, but many are not offered employer-sponsored health coverage for their jobs. About a third of nonelderly noncitizens have employer-provided coverage, while more than half of all nonelderly people do.
The researchers concluded that few uninsured noncitizens have gained access to coverage despite federal and state efforts to expand eligibility, so additional options need to be added to improve their health outcomes.