Number of Uninsured Kids in Georgia Tops 200,000

Georgia sees one of the nation’s greatest increases in the kids’ uninsured rate 

 

Atlanta, Ga. – Nearly 200,000 children in Georgia under age 19, or 7.5 percent of children, were uninsured in 2017, according to a new report from Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. That’s up 21,000 children from 2016.

“This data provides compelling evidence that we must work to remove barriers that prevent our children from getting the health care they need and deserve,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “It builds on our own findings from recent conversations with Georgians across the state who told us first-hand about the challenges that many families confront in accessing health coverage. We must work together to better address their needs.”

Today’s new analysis from Georgetown complements the Barriers for Healthcare for Georgia’s Children report recently released by Voices, which details findings about existing barriers to care in the state and recommendations to remove them. Among the recommendations for change are: streamlining eligibility and enrollment for kids’ health coverage and ensuring access to coverage for parents and caregivers.

The number of uninsured children nationwide increased by about 276,000 children last year, the first significant increase in a decade, according to the report. An estimated 3.9 million children were uninsured nationwide in 2017.

“With an improving economy and low unemployment rate, the fact our nation is going backwards on children’s health coverage is very troubling,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University research center and a research professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. “This increase in the child uninsured rate, particularly in states that did not expand Medicaid, is a warning sign to policymakers. Barring new and serious efforts to get on track, there is every reason to believe the decline in children’s coverage is likely to continue and may get worse.”

This is the eighth 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. The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families is based at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

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