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Immigration Relief and Insurance Coverage: Evidence from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Bae Jung ()
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Bae Jung: Department of Economics, Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences, 2825 Neil Ave, Apt 815, Columbus, OH, 43210-1326, USA

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2020, vol. 20, issue 3, 37

Abstract: I find that the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which conferred protection from deportation and work authorization to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children, increased eligible immigrants’ likelihood of having health insurance coverage. Exploiting a cutoff rule in the eligibility criteria of DACA, I implement a difference-in-regression-discontinuities design. The insured rate increased by up to 4.3 percentage points more for DACA-eligible immigrants than for ineligible immigrants following DACA. Two-thirds of this increase is accounted for by upticks in employer-sponsored and privately purchased insurance. The findings are also consistent with immigrants becoming less averse to approach health institutions, and taking up medical financial assistance at a higher rate.

Keywords: undocumented immigrants; deferred action for childhood arrivals; health insurance; I13; J15; J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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