Insuring Immigrants


As depicted by the pie-chart above, citizens accounted for three-quarters of 27.4 million nonelderly adults (under age 65) who were uninsured in 2017. Lawfully present immigrants accounted for 15% of the uninsured population, while undocumented immigrants made up the remaining 10%.

Twenty-three percent of lawfully present immigrants and 45% of undocumented immigrants lack health insurance. Barriers to insurance coverage for immigrants include limited access to employer-sponsored coverage and eligibility restrictions. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. They are also unable to purchase coverage through the ACA Marketplace.

Because lawfully present immigrant adults often have low-incomes, they are less able to afford coverage through the individual market or employer-sponsored coverage when it is available. While they typically qualify for Medicaid and CHIP, many remain uninsured due to fear, confusion about eligibility policies, and difficulty navigating the enrollment process.

Databyte via “President Trump’s Proclamation Suspending Entry for Immigrants without Health Coverage.” Kaiser Family Foundation, 10 October 2019.