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January 24/31, 2001

Health Insurance Status of Recent US Immigrants—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(4):410-411. doi:10.1001/jama.285.4.407

In Reply: Dr LaPorta implies that recent US immigrants account for a substantial proportion of the uninsured population, but this assumption is incorrect. In an analysis of the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, only 6% of the 42.1 million uninsured US residents (approximately 2.4 million people) in 1999 were noncitizens who had lived in the US for less than 5 years (Catherine Hoffman, personal communication, December 5, 2000). In contrast, 34.7 million uninsured people (82%) were US citizens, and 5.0 million uninsured people (12%) were noncitizens who had lived in the United States for more than 5 years.