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Nguyen KH, Wilson IB, Wallack AR, Trivedi AN. Children's Health Insurance Coverage and Parental Immigration Status: 2015-2019. Pediatrics. 2022 Sep 1; 150(3).
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Rhetoric and policies aimed at restricting immigration to the United States, such as those proposed during the Trump administration, may lead to reduced enrollment in Medicaid for children of immigrants, even those who were legally eligible. This study assessed how children''s health insurance coverage changed before versus during the Trump administration by parental immigration status. METHODS: Using American Community Survey data, we compared changes in rates of uninsurance and Medicaid enrollment for children in the United States before (2015 to 2016) versus during (2017 to 2019) the Trump administration. Children were categorized by parental immigration status: citizen children with US-born parents, citizen children with naturalized parents, children from mixed-status families, or noncitizen children. RESULTS: The study population included 2?963?787 children between 2015 and 2019, representing approximately 64 million children annually. Throughout our study period, uninsurance rates for children from mixed-status families and noncitizen children were higher than citizen children with United States-born parents. Beginning in 2017, there were significant increases in uninsurance among children from mixed-status families (0.48 percentage points [PP], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.06 to 0.91) that increased to 1.48 PP (95% CI: 0.98 to 1.99) by 2019 when compared with concurrent trends among citizen children with US-born parents. Changes were accompanied by significant decreases in Medicaid enrollment by 2019 (-0.89 PP, 95% CI: -1.62 to -0.16). CONCLUSIONS: There were substantial disparities in uninsurance rates by parental immigration status. Compared with citizen children with US-born parents, uninsurance rates among children from mixed-status families significantly increased between 2017 and 2019, with the magnitude of disparity widening over time.