New Data Shows Child Health Coverage Rate Racial Disparities are Narrowing

Childrens Doctor

Last month, the Center for Children and Families reported that almost 2 million children have gained health insurance since the implementation of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. More good news from our colleagues at the Commonwealth Fund: in their analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, researchers found that racial disparities in children’s uninsured rates have improved significantly from 2013 to 2016. The Commonwealth Fund reports that children’s uninsured rates fell among white, black and Hispanic children, with Hispanic children experiencing the greatest decline.

Additionally, the analysis revealed that from 2013 to 2016 children’s uninsured rates in Medicaid expansion states, on average, were lower than uninsured rates in non-expansion states. Hispanic children, especially, saw greater declines in the uninsured rate in expansion states compared to non-expansion states.

Historically, Hispanic children in the US have a much higher rate of uninsurance than non-Hispanic white children. These findings highlight the importance of the ACA, Medicaid, and CHIP in reducing inequity in children’s health.

CCF has closely tracked the progress of Hispanic and Latino children. For more information on racial and ethnic disparities in children’s health, please see CCF’s blog on racial/ethnic disparities. Data on Latino and Hispanic children’s coverage may be found in our Latino Children’s Coverage report and our 50-state snapshot of children’s coverage by race and ethnicity.

Later this year, the Center for Children and Families will be releasing our annual report on the state of children’s health insurance in the US. Our comprehensive report will include further analysis of data from the American Community Survey. Previous reports may be found here.

Olivia Pham
Olivia Pham is a Research Associate at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families

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