This paper focuses on the older Latino undocumented population and anticipates how their current demographic characteristics and health insurance coverage might impact future population size and health insurance trends.
We use the 2013-2018 American Community Survey as a baseline to project growth in the Latino 55+ undocumented population over the next 20 years. We use the cohort component method to estimate population size across different migration scenarios and distinguish between aging in place and new in-migration. We also examine contemporary health insurance coverage and chronic health conditions among 55+ undocumented Latinos from the 2003-2014 California Health Interview Survey. We then project health insurance rates in 2038 among Latino immigrants under different migration and policy scenarios.
If current mortality, migration, and policy trends continue, projections estimate that 40% of undocumented Latino immigrants will be 55 years or older by 2038 – nearly all of whom will have aged in place. Currently, 40% of older Latino undocumented immigrants do not have insurance. Without policies that increase access to insurance, projections estimate that the share who are uninsured among all older Latinos immigrants will rise from 15% to 21%, and the share that is both uninsured and living with a chronic health condition will rise from 5% to 9%.
Without access health care, older undocumented immigrants may experience delayed care and more severe morbidity. Our projections highlight the need to develop and enact policies that can address impending health access concerns for an increasingly older undocumented Latino population.