(Washington D.C., Wednesday, October 30, 2019) – The number of uninsured children in the United States increased by more than 400,000 children between 2016 and 2018 bringing the total to over four million uninsured children in the nation.
The number of uninsured children and the child uninsured rate are now at the highest levels since 2014, when the ACA’s major coverage expansions first took effect. This trend is particularly troubling as it occurred during a period of economic growth when children should be gaining health coverage. The child uninsured rate may increase more rapidly should an economic downturn occur.
Loss of coverage is most pronounced for white children and Latino children (some of whom may fall into both categories), young children under age 6 and children in low- and moderate-income families who earn between 138 percent and 250 percent of poverty ($29,435 – $53,325 annually for a family of three). Children whose families are in this income range also have the highest uninsured rates.
States that have not expanded Medicaid to parents and other adults under the Affordable Care Act have seen increases in their rate of uninsured children three times as large as states that have. Children in non-expansion states are nearly twice as likely to be uninsured as those in states that have expanded Medicaid.
The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF) is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center founded in 2005 with a mission to support access to high-quality, comprehensive and affordable health coverage for all of America’s children and families.
As part of the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown CCF provides research, develops strategies, and offers solutions to improve the health of America’s children and families, particularly those with low and moderate incomes. In particular, CCF examines policy development and implementation efforts related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act.