A recent study revealed that immigrants are paying significantly more in health insurance premiums and related taxes than they actually utilize in healthcare, dispelling the myth that they are freeloaders in the American health care system.
In reality, some of the extra health care that non-immigrants utilize over and above what they pay for is offset by the amount that immigrants put in. A CUNY news release stated, “Some politicians and pundits tell Americans that immigrants are a burden to society, and particularly to our health care system.”
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, senior study author, a distinguished professor at CUNY’s Hunter College, and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School says, “However, the reverse is true. Tens of billions of dollars are spent annually by immigrants to pay for the care of other Americans”.
According to the study, in 2017, immigrants paid nearly $58.3 billion more in taxes and health insurance premiums than insurers and local, state, and federal governments spent on their care. Undocumented immigrants brought up around 89% of all surplus contributions from immigrants. The authors of the report claim that Americans who were born in the country received $67.2 billion more in healthcare than they contributed.
As per US News, researchers calculated people’s total contributions to private and public insurers through premiums and taxes to reach that surprising conclusion by carefully examining data from the American Community Survey, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and the Current Population Survey of the Census Bureau.
The costs of uncompensated or charity care supplied by hospitals, based on an estimate from the American Hospital Association, were also included in the study authors’ extra data on taxation and Medicaid spending in each state and nationally.
The study also included cumulative estimates from 2012 to 2017, although the main analysis only used data from 2017, which was the most recent year for which the government surveys were available.
Over the course of those six years, immigrants made $184.2 billion in surplus payments to the healthcare system. Americans who were born here, in contrast, received $185.2 billion more in healthcare than they contributed.
According to the study’s authors, less healthcare is used by immigrants. A typical immigrant pays $6,345 while receiving $5,061 in medical treatment. According to the research, an average American born in the United States pays in $6,269 but receives $6,511 in medical treatment. According to the study’s authors, the illegal immigrant surplus, which averaged $4,418 per person, was very high.
This can be an indication of how young and healthy they tend to be. The researchers found that despite the fact that they frequently pay employment-based taxes and insurance premiums into the healthcare financing system, they frequently avoid seeking medical attention. The results were made available online on November 9 in JAMA Network Open.