Nativity and citizenship status affect Latinos’ health insurance coverage under the ACA

Gabriel R. Sanchez, Edward D. Vargas, Melina D. Juarez, Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga, Francisco I. Pedraza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to increase health insurance access for the over 47 million uninsured people in the U.S.A., among whom ethnoracial minorities had the highest uninsured rates before the ACA. Studies have shown that Latinos have had the greatest improvements in health coverage under the ACA, but many may be at a significant disadvantage, specifically due to their nativity and immigration status, as the ACA explicitly excludes unauthorised immigrants from most of its provisions. Using the 2015 Latino National Health and Immigration Survey, a nationally representative sample of Latinos (n = 1493), we find that variation in health insurance access among Latinos can be traced to immigration status. This study finds no differences among U.S.-born versus foreign-born Latinos in the likelihood of being uninsured in 2015. However, among foreign-born Latinos, unauthorised immigrants are five times more likely than naturalised citizens to be uninsured and less likely to visit a primary care provider or clinic, even after controlling for other factors including language, income and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2037-2054
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 10 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Latinos
  • Patient protection and affordable care act
  • health insurance
  • health outcome
  • immigrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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