Cheaper by the Immigrant: Would Covering New Immigrants from Mexico Lower Health Costs and Health Premiums?

Jacqueline Angel, University of Texas at Austin
H. Shelton Brown, University of Texas
Kimberly Wilson, University of Texas

The topic of immigration and its impact on health is of theoretical and practical interest. Utilizing data from the 2007-2011 Mexican Migrant Project (MMP) and logistic regression methods, we examine the association between aspects of migration and changes in self-rated health. Additionally, using 2009 Medical Expenditures Panel (MEPS) data, we estimate the costs of insurance coverage for this sample at first migration and at time of interview using self-rated health. When all variables are included, health prior to migration, age at interview, being from Central Mexico and use of health services in the U.S. remain significant and positively predictive of declines in health, and having spent more than 10 cumulative years in the U.S. has borderline significance (p=.052). Estimated coverage costs increase over time but remain lower than those of comparable U.S.-born individuals. This study highlights predictors of health decline in Mexican migrants relative to their U.S.-born counterparts.

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Presented in Poster Session 8