Article

Immigrants and the cost of medical care

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, United States
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 11/2006; 25(6):1700-11. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.25.6.1700
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Foreign-born adults in Los Angeles County, California, constituted 45 percent of the county's population ages 18-64 but accounted for 33 percent of health spending in 2000. Similarly, the undocumented constituted 12 percent of the nonelderly adult population but accounted for only 6 percent of spending. Extrapolating to the nation, total spending by the undocumented is 6.4 billion dollars , of which only 17 percent (1.1 billion dollars) is paid for by public sources. The foreign-born (especially the undocumented) use disproportionately fewer medical services and contribute less to health care costs in relation to their population share, likely because of their better relative health and lack of health insurance.

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