Expansion of insurance eligibility is associated with positive health outcomes. We compared uninsurance and health care utilization for (1) all children, and (2) children in immigrant families (CIF) and non-CIF who resided inside and outside of the seven US states/territories offering public health insurance to children regardless of documentation status (“extended-eligibility states/territories”).
Using the cross-sectional, nationally representative National Survey of Children’s Health-2019, we used survey-weighted, multivariable Poisson regression to assess the association of residence in nonextended- versus extended-eligibility states/territories with uninsurance and with health care utilization measures for (1) all children, and (2) CIF versus non-CIF, adjusting for demographic covariates.
Of the 29 433 respondents, the 4035 (weighted 27.2%) children in extended- versus nonextended-eligibility states/territories were more likely to be CIF (27.4% vs 20.5%, P < .001), 12 to 17 years old (37.2% vs 33.2%, P = .048), non-White (60.1% vs 45.9%, P < .001), and have a non-English primary language (20.6% vs 11.1%, P < .001).
The relative risk of uninsurance for children in nonextended- versus extended-eligibility states/territories was 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.4–3.0), after adjusting for covariates. Fewer children in extended- versus nonextended-eligibility states/territories were uninsured (adjusted prevalence 3.7% vs 7.5%, P < .001), had forgone medical (2.2% vs 3.1%, P = .07) or dental care (17.1% vs 20.5%, P = .02), and had no preventive visit (14.3% vs 17.0%, P = .04). More CIF than non-CIF were uninsured, regardless of residence in nonextended- versus extended-eligibility states/territories: CIF 11.2% vs 5.7%, P < .001; non-CIF 6.1% vs 3.1% P < .001.
Residence in nonextended-eligibility states/territories, compared with in extended-eligibility states/territories, was associated with higher uninsurance and less preventive health care utilization.