Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 211–218 | Cite as

Health Care Access and Utilization Among U.S. Immigrants Before and After the Affordable Care Act

  • Arturo Vargas BustamanteEmail author
  • Jie Chen
  • Ryan M. McKenna
  • Alexander N. Ortega
Original Paper


We examine changes in health insurance coverage and access to and utilization of health care before and after the national implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) among the U.S. adult immigrant population. Data from the 2011–2016 National Health Interview Survey are used to compare adult respondents in 2011–2013 (before the ACA implementation) and 2014–2016 (after the ACA implementation). Multivariable logistic regression analyses are used to compare changes over time. This study shows that the ACA has closed the coverage gap that previously existed between U.S. citizens and non-citizen immigrants. We find that naturalized citizens, non-citizens with more than 5 years of U.S. residency, and non-citizens with 5 years or less of U.S. residency reduced their probability of being uninsured by 5.81, 9.13, and 8.23%, respectively, in the first 3 years of the ACA. Improvements in other measures of access and utilization were also observed.


Affordable Care Act ACA Immigrants Access to care Health care reform Health insurance 


Author Contributions

AVB—study design, development and implementation of methods, data analysis, manuscript preparation. JC—study design, development and implementation of methdos, data analysis, and manuscript editing. RMM—Study design, manuscript editing. ANO—Manuscript editing.


P30-AG021684 & UL1-TR000124 and 1R01MD011523-01.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arturo Vargas Bustamante
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jie Chen
    • 2
  • Ryan M. McKenna
    • 3
  • Alexander N. Ortega
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy & ManagementUCLA Fielding School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Services AdministrationUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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