U.S. Achieves Another Historic Milestone: 95% of Kids Now Have Health Coverage

The rate of health coverage among children reached a historic high of 95 percent in 2015, according to new data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.[1] Today’s numbers underscore how significantly the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid and CHIP have worked together to help more children get the health coverage they need to succeed.

Overall, 2015 proved to be another banner year. According to American Community Survey (ACS) data, both the rate and number of uninsured children dropped faster than any other year since the data was published in 2008. Uninsurance rates among children (under age 18) continued to decline following implementation of the ACA in 2014.  The children’s uninsured rate in the United States declined significantly from 6.0 percent in 2014 to a record 4.8 percent in 2015 – an impressive 1.2 percentage point decline over one year and the lowest rate of children’s uninsurance on record.[2]

The number of uninsured children declined by roughly 20%, from 4.4 million in 2014 to 3.5 million in 2015.[3] Since 2008, the number of uninsured kids has been cut in half.

The vast majority of states also had a significant decline in children’s uninsurance rates. More detail will be released in our annual report of children’s coverage rates –stay tuned!

While this is fantastic news, it’s not yet time to do a victory lap.  There are still 3.5 million uninsured children. Ongoing vigilance and commitment will be required to ensure that progress continues, and we achieve a day in which no child in the U.S. is uninsured.


[1] Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on health insurance coverage in 2015 using data from two national surveys, the American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). CCF’s annual report on children’s uninsurance rates uses data from the ACS. For information on the difference between the ACS and CPS, check out resources from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Census, and SHADAC.

[2] The CPS reported that the rate of uninsurance among children dropped from 6 percent in 2014 to 5.2 percent in 2015. ACS began reporting information on health insurance coverage in 2008.

[3] The CPS reports that the number of uninsured children under age 18 declined by about 14 percent, from 4.5 million in 2014 to 3.9 million in 2015.

Joan Alker is the Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families and a Research Professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy.