Welfare Reform and Health Insurance of Immigrants
Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Robert Kaestner, University of Illinois at Chicago
This paper investigates the effect of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) on the health insurance coverage of foreign- and US-born families. We find that PRWORA increased the proportion of uninsured among low-educated, foreign-born unmarried women by 9.9 to 10.7 percentage points. In contrast, the effect of PRWORA on the health insurance coverage of similar US-born women is negligible. We also find that PRWORA increased the proportion of uninsured among foreign-born children living with low-educated, single mothers by 13.5 percentage points. Again, the policy had little effect on the health insurance coverage of the children of US-born, low-educated single mothers. Finally, our investigation finds some evidence that the fear and uncertainty engendered by the law had real effects on immigrant health insurance coverage.
Presented in Session 152: Health Care Policy and Access