Georgia Sees Significant Increase in Uninsured Kids

Atlanta, Ga. – An estimated 217,000 children in Georgia, or 8.1% of children, were uninsured in 2018, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. That is up 21% since 2016. The alarming trend leaves Georgia with the fifth highest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

“These data confirms what we already know: our state needs to break down barriers to coverage for children and families,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director for Voices for Georgia’s Children. “Many uninsured children are eligible for, but not enrolled in Medicaid. We are looking forward to working with the administration to overcome these barriers and get children the coverage they need.”

The new analysis, which is released annually from Georgetown, underscores the importance of implementing the recommendations outlined in Voices’ Barriers to Healthcare for Georgia’s Children. The report details conversations with Georgians across the state who told Voices first-hand about the challenges their families confront in accessing health coverage. Among the recommendations for change are: allowing enrollment in one program (like SNAP) to satisfy requirements in enrolling in Medicaid, and ensuring parents and caregivers can obtain health coverage.

Georgia is not alone in children losing health coverage. The child uninsured rate nationwide increased from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent between 2016 and 2018, with more than 4 million kids now uninsured. Coverage losses were widespread, however Georgia is one of 15 states showing statistically significant increases in the number or rate of uninsured children. (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Along with the report, the Georgetown University research center launched a new interactive data hub that provides a more in-depth look at child health care trends in Georgia and across the country, allowing users to compare a variety of metrics across states.

This is the ninth annual report on uninsured children published by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center founded in 2005 with a mission to expand and improve high-quality, affordable coverage for America’s children and families. CCF is based at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.