The Latest Census Data Health Insurance Findings...

12 September 2018 Written by  

U.S. Progress in Reducing the Rate of Uninsured Kids Stalls in 2017; Utah’s progress in reducing its overall uninsured rate halts too

Medicaid expansion is (still) the most effective way to move forward

Between 2016 and 2017, the U.S. uninsured rate for children remained flat at 5.4%, according to new Census data released today, after years of historic declines in the U.S. child uninsured rate.

Utah’s total uninsured rate, for adults and children, remained stagnant as well. Utah saw a slight increase from 8.8% in 2016 to 9.2% in 2017 (although data are not statistically significant). In previous years, Utah has seen a steady decline in its overall uninsured rate.

The gap in uninsured rates between states that expanded Medicaid, and states that have not, has grown in four straight years. If the uninsured rate had fallen in non-Medicaid expansion states at the same rate as it did in expansion states, another 4.5 million uninsured Americans would have had coverage last year.

In addition, Census data show continued disparities in coverage. In 2017, U.S. children in poverty had an uninsured rate of 7.8%, compared to 4.9% of children not in poverty. Among different racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic/ Latino children have the highest rate of uninsurance at a national average of 7.2%, compared to 4.3% among White children. (We'll have additional Utah-specific child uninsurance data available soon!)

Over the last several years, the U.S. and Utah have made significant progress reducing the rate of uninsured children. It is discouraging to see progress stall. Health coverage gives kids and families a healthy foundation and future. We will continue to work for all Utah kids and families to get insured and stay insured!

Medicaid expansion is the most effective way to help more children, parents and individuals enroll in health insurance programs, so we can continue to make progress toward helping all Utahns receive affordable health care. #YesonProposition3

JessieJessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst, joined the organization in 2015. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, Jessie was a Senior Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, where she focused on nutrition and Out of School Time areas. Jessie also worked as a policy researcher in Johannesburg, South Africa and oversaw a CDC grant for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she worked with the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Cancer Action Network. Jessie has a Master's degree in Public Heath from Portland State University and a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.