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The Impact of New Health Insurance Coverage on Undocumented and Other Low-Income Children: Lessons from Three California Counties


Three California counties (Los Angeles, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) expanded health insurance coverage for undocumented children and some higher income children not covered by Medi-Cal (Medicaid) or Healthy Families (SCHIP). This paper presents findings from evaluations of all three programs. Results consistently showed that health insurance enrollment increased access to and use of medical and dental care, and reduced unmet need for those services. After one year of enrollment the programs also improved the health status of children, including reducing the percentage of children who missed school due to health.