State Chip Policies and Access to Health Care for Children of Mexican Immigrants: Reducing Disparities in Health Care Utilization among America’s Children

Deborah Roempke Graefe, Pennsylvania State University
Stephanie Howe, Pennsylvania State University
Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University
Chris Galvan, Pennsylvania State University

Although recent legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants are barred from federally provided health coverage, some U.S. states choose to cover immigrant children with state-based funding. We examine the contextual effect of state health coverage policy on nativity- and immigrant-status-based disparities in children's health care. Originally-collected data on state-specific Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility policies are integrated with child-level, nationally representative data from the 1996, 2001, 2004, and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the entire geographic and temporal span of the CHIP program. Multilevel logistic regression models test our hypothesis that nativity-based disparities in regular doctor and dentist visits are less pronounced among children who reside in states with more generous CHIP policies, particularly for native-born children of immigrants and for immigrant children of documented versus undocumented parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families