The United States has cut the rate of uninsured children in half since 1997, due, in large part, to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A combination of children’s eligibility expansions through these two programs, as well as state and federal efforts to conduct outreach and simplify enrollment in both programs, has led to significant progress in reducing the number of all uninsured children, including uninsured Hispanic children.
Despite this overall progress, Hispanic children have higher rates of uninsurance than the national average. As of 2013, 11.5 percent of Hispanic children are uninsured, leaving more than 2 million Hispanic children in the U.S. without coverage. Immigration status is not a major barrier to affordable coverage for Hispanic children. In 2012, the vast majority of Hispanic children living in the U.S. were American citizens; yet, nearly two-thirds of uninsured Hispanic children were eligible for public coverage but remained uninsured. Given that Hispanic children remain disproportionately uninsured, it is critical to make the most of opportunities to enroll in existing public programs; ensure that Hispanic families are able to easily enroll in new coverage options provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and that states that have not yet done so expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs.