Undocumented Immigrants in the State: The Healthcare Impact

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Though undocumented immigrants are only eligible for coverage of emergency and pregnancy related services, they still cost Minnesota taxpayers around $35 million a year, according to a report by Minnesota Department of Administration. Approximately half of that cost is eventually reimbursed to the state by the federal government.
A total of 8, 196 people or about 9.6 percent of the estimated 85,000 undocumented persons in the state used the government-paid emergency and pregnancy services last year, according to the report.

About 65 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S are uninsured, as oppose to 13 percent of U.S. citizens., according to The Center for Immigration Studies.

A separate report by the Minnesota Department of Health, which came out in July, revealed that 383,000 Minnesotans are uninsured. As a direct result, the state spends nearly $250 million a year in an “uncompensated care in hospitals and clinics,”

This report didn’t specify the legal statuses of the ominous 383,000 uninsured people in the state, but it did enunciate that almost 18 percent of them are foreign-born. It’s also not clear weather the $250 million the state pays to hospitals for uncompensated care includes the $35 million the state pays on behalf of undocumented immigrants.

Healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants, who represent about 1.6 percent of the state’s five million people, is the second most expensive item for state’s taxpayers after education.

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