Immigrants Contribute More in Private Insurance Premiums than they Receive in Benefits
Date: May 20, 2021
Politicians often raise concerns that immigrants drain U.S. health care resources. However, new research from New American Economy suggests that immigrants may contribute more in premiums and taxes to the health care economy than they receive in health care services.
Immigrants—and particularly undocumented immigrants—use relatively little health care.2–9 For example, in several studies, we’ve found that immigrants pay many billions of dollars in payroll taxes that fund Medicare, but relatively few immigrants use care funded by Medicare. On balance, between 1996 and 2011, immigrants contributed $182.4 billion more to the Trust Fund than the Trust Fund spent for their care. In essence, immigrants helped keep the Trust Fund solvent.
Moreover, between 2012 and 2018 each immigrant with private insurance contributed, on average, $1,182 more in premiums than their insurer spent for their care. In contrast, the U.S.-born had an average deficit of $155 per capita.
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