This year’s American Community Survey (ACS) data from 2014 provide a first look at how the implementation of the ACA is affecting coverage rates for children – both nationwide and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our analysis looks at the profile of uninsured children in 2014 and examines rates of change in coverage for children from 2013 to 2014.
Child Uninsured Rate Hits Historic Low – Thanks Goes Mainly to ACA, Medicaid & CHIP
Key Findings from the Report:
- The rate of uninsurance among children dropped to a historic low of 6 percent following implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The improvement was widespread with 25 states recording statistically significant declines in the number of uninsured children and no state reporting a significant increase. Just under 4.4 million children remain uninsured in 2014, and about half of these children live in six states—Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
- Some states saw much greater improvements in children’s coverage than others. States with the sharpest declines in the rate of uninsured children were Nevada, Colorado, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. Nevada’s decline was considerably larger than any other state.
- States that extended Medicaid coverage to more uninsured adults saw nearly double the rate of decline in uninsured children as compared to states that didn’t accept the ACA’s Medicaid option. This is likely due to a robust “welcome mat” effect as parents enrolled their children when they signed up for newly available coverage. Even states that did not expand Medicaid appear to have experienced a welcome mat effect due to the ACA.