Medicaid And CHIP Help Address Racial/Ethnic Disparities In Children’s Health

Medicaid and CHIP are primary sources of health coverage for all children. These programs play a particularly important role for children of color, who are disproportionately represented among beneficiaries because they are more likely to be economically disadvantaged (see figure below). CCF’s new fact sheet unpacks child population and Medicaid/CHIP data by state.


We know from our research that the children’s uninsured rate has been on the decline across all race and ethnic groups between 2013 and 2015. But certain groups of children, especially Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native children, have higher rates of uninsurance than children who are white, black or Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. White children who are non-Hispanic are uninsured at the lowest rate among any group, at just under 4%. Medicaid and CHIP help address these disparities by providing health coverage to children who need it most.

Despite progress covering children, health disparities in access to and utilization of care persist for children of color. According to data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, children of color were less likely to report excellent or very good health, less likely to have a usual source of care, and more likely to forgo needed care due to cost compared to white, non-Hispanic children.

Medicaid and CHIP are vehicles for reducing these disparities. Research shows that Medicaid/CHIP coverage for children expands access to health care and has long term benefits. The rate of children having a well-child checkup and a usual source of care are comparable for children covered by Medicaid/CHIP compared to those who are privately insured, but much lower for children who are uninsured. Medicaid coverage is particularly important for our most disadvantaged children because it leads to longer, healthier lives, a better chance in school, and more prosperous futures.

View the new factsheet here: Snapshot of Children’s Coverage by Race and Ethnicity