News Release

More States Are Providing Fully State-Funded Health Coverage to Some Individuals Regardless of Immigration Status

More states are providing fully state-funded health coverage to some individuals regardless of immigration status. 

An updated KFF analysis shows that as of March 2024, 12 states and Washington D.C. provide fully state-funded coverage for income-eligible children regardless of immigration status. These states include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Six states — California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington, plus D.C. — have also expanded fully state-funded coverage to some income-eligible adults regardless of immigration status. In most of these cases these state expansions have taken place since 2020.

These programs, wholly funded with state money, extend coverage to undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, who are excluded from any federally funded coverage, as well as some lawfully present immigrants who are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. States vary in the eligibility and scope of benefits offered through these coverage programs, and these efforts are limited by funding constraints.

Beyond state-funded efforts, many states have taken up options in Medicaid and CHIP to draw on federal funding to expand coverage to lawfully present immigrant children and pregnant women. 

The analysis provides an overview of state take-up of these options and state health coverage programs for immigrants regardless of status. It also examines how health coverage and care for immigrants vary by state coverage policies using data from the 2023 KFF/LA Times Survey of Immigrants.

Data suggest that providing state coverage options for immigrants make a difference in their health coverage. The 2023 KFF/LA Times Survey of Immigrant Adults shows that immigrants residing in states with more expansive coverage policies for immigrants, including state-funded coverage, are less than half as likely to report being uninsured as those in states with less expansive coverage (11% vs. 22%).

Despite these expansions, uninsured rates remain high among noncitizen immigrants, with 18% of lawfully present immigrant adults and half of likely undocumented immigrant adults reporting being uninsured. 

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.