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Health Insurance Access among US Citizen Children in Mexico: National and Transborder Policy Implications


Borja, Sharon; Berger Cardoso, Jodi; De La Cruz, Pedro I.; Perreira, Krista M.; Giraldo-Santiago, Natalia; & Jasso Oyervides, Martha V. (2021). Health Insurance Access among US Citizen Children in Mexico: National and Transborder Policy Implications. Health Affairs, 40(7), 1066-1074.


More than 500,000 US citizen migrant children were residing in Mexico in 2015, and more than half of them had limited, inadequate health insurance despite their citizenship status. The majority of these children lived in Mexican states near the US border. Despite these numbers, knowledge regarding these children and their health has been scarce. To address these knowledge gaps, we analyzed data from the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey to examine whether the health insurance status of US citizen migrant children in Mexico is linked to individual, household, and state factors. We compared rates of insured US citizen migrant children with rates among those who were underinsured. We found high rates of underinsurance among US citizen migrant children, especially in northern Mexican border states. Parental education, labor-force participation, urban residence, and border residence partially accounted for these children's probability of being insured. Our results have implications for binational policies that extend health care protection to US citizen migrant children through reintegration assistance for their parents, an expedited dual-citizenship application process, and exempting these children from the automatic cancellation of US-based health benefits.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Health Affairs


Borja, Sharon
Berger Cardoso, Jodi
De La Cruz, Pedro I.
Perreira, Krista M.
Giraldo-Santiago, Natalia
Jasso Oyervides, Martha V.

Article Type


Data Set/Study

Mexican Intercensal Survey


United States of America






Perreira - 0000-0003-2906-0261