Effect of US health policies on health care access for Marshallese migrants

Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105(4):637-43. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302452. Epub 2015 Feb 25.


The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a sovereign nation previously under the administrative control of the United States. Since 1986, the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States allows Marshall Islands citizens to freely enter, lawfully reside, and work in the United States, and provides the United States exclusive military control of the region. When the COFA was signed, COFA migrants were eligible for Medicaid and other safety net programs. However, these migrants were excluded from benefits as a consequence of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Currently, COFA migrants have limited access to health care benefits in the United States, which perpetuates health inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Medicaid / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Micronesia / ethnology
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology
  • Radiation Injuries / therapy
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • United States / epidemiology