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Health Policy Challenges Posed By Shifting Demographics And Health Trends Among Immigrants To The United States

Authors
  • Bustamante, Arturo Vargas
  • Chen, Jie
  • Beltrán, Lucía Félix
  • Ortega, Alexander N.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Health affairs (Project Hope)
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
Volume
40
Issue
7
Pages
1028–1037
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2021.00037
PMID: 34228519
PMCID: PMC8285051
Source
PubMed Central
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Since the 1960s the immigrant population in the United States has increased fourfold, reaching 44.7 million, or 13.7 percent of the US population, in 2018. The shifting immigrant demography presents several challenges for US health policy makers. We examine recent trends in immigrant health and health care after the Great Recession and the nationwide implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Recent immigrants are more likely to have lower incidence of chronic health conditions than other groups in the US, although these differences vary along the citizenship and documentation status continuum. Health care inequities among immigrants and US-born residents increased after the Great Recession and later diminished after the Affordable Care Act took effect. Unremitting inequities remain, however, particularly among noncitizen immigrants. The number of aging immigrants is growing, which will present a challenge to the expansion of coverage to this population. Health care and immigration policy changes are needed to integrate immigrants successfully into the US health care system.

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