Immigrant Women and Medicaid-Financed Births
School of Business
BACKGROUND While immigrants' propensity to use social programs has been extensively examined by researchers, whether immigrant women are more likely to use Medicaid for birth delivery than US-born women is understudied, and discussion on fiscal costs of immigration should include Medicaid-financed births among immigrants. OBJECTIVE This study documents Medicaid-financed births by dividing the sample based on age, education levels, and marital status and calculating the extent of Medicaid-financed births for each sociodemographic group, paying special attention to the difference between US-born women and immigrant women. METHODS Cross-sectional data on 11,451,478 women come from the 2014-2016 Natality Detail dataset compiled by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). RESULTS Overall, immigrant women are more likely than US-born women to report using Medicaid for birth delivery. However, among unmarried high school dropouts, married teenage high school dropouts, and unmarried teenage high school graduates, US-born women are more likely to use Medicaid for birth delivery than their immigrant counterparts. CONCLUSIONS Considerable heterogeneity in the likelihood of Medicaid-financed births by age, education, and marital status highlights the importance of not bundling all immigrant women together to better identify subgroups with higher Medicaid-financed births. CONTRIBUTION This paper extends the literature on fiscal costs of immigration in the United States by focusing on Medicaid, which is an important source of financing for births for lowincome women and families.
Kuroki, M. (2018). Immigrant women and Medicaid-financed births. Demographic Research, 39(31): 871-882. doI:10.4054/DemRes.2018.39.31