This brief provides an overview of health coverage for noncitizen immigrants and discusses key issues for health coverage and care for immigrant families today. It shows: (1) In 2015, there were 23 million non-citizen immigrants residing in the United States, accounting for about 7% of the total U.S. population. Non-citizen immigrants include both lawfully present immigrants and undocumented immigrants. Many immigrants live in mixed immigration status families that may include lawfully present immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and/or citizens. (2) Noncitizen immigrants are significantly more likely than citizens to be uninsured. Among the nonelderly population, 17% of lawfully present immigrants and four in ten (41%) undocumented immigrants are uninsured compared to less than one in ten (9%) U.S. born and naturalized citizens. (3) Changes proposed in the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would further limit access to coverage and care for lawfully present immigrants. Specifically, the BCRA would make certain lawfully present immigrants ineligible for Marketplace coverage and tax credits. In addition, its proposed cuts to Medicaid could negatively affect coverage and care for lawfully present immigrants covered by the program and place further strains on other programs that serve immigrants. (4) Current immigration policies and attitudes towards immigrants may negatively affect their health coverage, access to care, and health outcomes. Increased fears among the immigrant community about deportation and use of public programs negatively affecting their immigration status may deter immigrant families from enrolling eligible family members in health coverage and seeking necessary health care for themselves and their children.
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