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Mass. report: Immigrants reap Medicaid benefits

October 31, 2011

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BOSTON—One percent of Medicaid spending in Massachusetts during the past fiscal year has gone to services for immigrants who couldn't prove their legal status.

That translates into $93 million out of $9.6 billion in Medicaid spending.

Immigrants who could not document their status are eligible for emergency care for conditions that puts their health in serious jeopardy or threatens serious impairment to bodily functions.

They're also eligible for prenatal and postpartum care. The state receives a federal match for those services.

The state report released Monday found the vast majority of Medicaid spending, about 94 percent, covered expenditures for citizens. Another five percent went to qualified immigrants or legal immigrants not yet qualified.

The report was release in response to a request from Republican Rep. James Lyons of Andover.