AZ Kids Health Insurance Coverage Lagging

The number of uninsured children in Arizona rose dramatically more than 10% between 2016 and 2018 and the state jumped to the third highest in the country for percentage of uninsured kids, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.  The report is full of very interesting data.

Arizona does not fare well in the report- ranking near the bottom in terms of the percentage of kids that have some kind of health insurance. In Arizona, 146,000 children (8.4%) lacked coverage in 2018. 

The states which have lost statistically significant ground are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Nationally, the loss of coverage is most pronounced for kids under age 6, and children in families who earn between 138 percent and 250 percent of poverty ($29,435 - $53,325 annually for a family of three)- basically the CHIP or Kids Care population.

The report finds a number of factors have contributed to the rise in uninsured children, including a chilling effect caused by a shifting immigration policy landscape and parents not enrolling their eligible children in Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP or KidsCare); confusion over the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and open enrollment dates; and added red tape to the Medicaid enrollment process.  

Children’s health coverage has long had broad bipartisan support in Congress and in Arizona. It’s time to double-down on our efforts to let families know quality health coverage options are here! One thing you can do is to let families know that the ACA Marketplace (or Obamacare) open enrollment begins tomorrow, November 1st. You can find out more by visiting CoverAZ.org. Marketplace Open Enrollment info is happening right now with enrollment and other info at https://www.healthcare.gov/.