Immigrant Participation in Medicaid

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The political debate over immigration policy in the United States has often failed to take into account the full benefits and costs of immigration to US citizens. This study will use information from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) for the years 1996-2003 to document immigrant participation in Medicaid and to compare immigrant participation to native participation. Using these data, this study will document the amount of health care benefits that immigrants receive under the Medicaid system. This study will also determine what factors affect whether a person uses Medicaid by estimating econometric models. In addition, this study will also document whether immigrants differ in significant ways from natives in terms of their health expenses. By providing a detailed analysis of health expenditures and health benefits received under Medicaid, this study will help to provide an accurate measure of the costs of immigration in terms of the benefits they receive from this government program.