State Policy Variation in Medicaid/CHIP Expansion and Family Structure Among Children of Immigrants

Jina Chang , Boston University
Daniel P. Miller, Boston University

The 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) granted states the ability to expand Medicaid/CHIP eligibility to lawfully-residing immigrant children with a five-year ban. However, whether the policy change had varying effects on the health insurance and health among children of immigrants in different family structures is unknown thus far. Using data on a 51,536 children sample between the ages of 0-17 from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) from 2007 and 2011, with Difference-in-Difference-in-Differences (D-D-D) estimation, this study found that first-generation children of single and cohabiting parents residing in eligibility expansion states had the greatest gains in health insurance coverage through Medicaid/CHIP expansion, and the policy change had positive spillover effects on overall health insurance coverage among second-generation children in single-parent families. However, the study did not find evidence that policy treatment was associated with children’s health care service utilization, a result that requires further research.

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 Presented in Session 233. Families, Law, and Public Policy