The Decline in Medicaid Use by Noncitizens since Welfare Reform

Brief

The Decline in Medicaid Use by Noncitizens since Welfare Reform

May 21, 2003

This Health Policy Online brief looks at whether the enrollment of noncitizens in Medicaid has decreased since the enactment of welfare reform. The common expectation has been that noncitizen enrollment would decrease, given that welfare reform significantly restricted Medicaid eligibility of noncitizens, barring most of them from receiving Medicaid during the first five years of living in the country unless states chose to cover them through state programs. This analysis finds that Medicaid enrollment among noncitizens did decrease after welfare reform, as intended by law, and noncitizens are much less likely than native citizens to receive Medicaid.

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