Monday numbers: NC hit by big spike in the number of children lacking health insurance

Monday numbers: NC hit by big spike in the number of children lacking health insurance

- in News, Top Story

The number of uninsured children in America increased by 726,000 between 2016 and 2019, reversing a long-standing positive trend, according a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.  

Coverage losses were widespread, with a majority of states showing statistically significant increases.

As the report notes:

For many years, the United States was on a positive trajectory in reducing the number and rate of uninsured children; in 2016, the nation attained a historic low of 3.6 million uninsured children. This progress occurred as a result of expansions of public coverage—primarily Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—and was accelerated by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major coverage expansions in 2014…

… However, the number of uninsured children began to increase in 2017 as Medicaid enrollment began to decline, and reached 4.4 million in 2019. This represents an increase of 726,000 children during this three-year period. The rate of uninsured children rose a full percentage point from 4.7% to 5.7 %.

Much of the gain in coverage that children made as a consequence of the ACA’s major coverage expansions has now been eliminated. Moreover, the most recent year of data (2018 to 2019) shows the biggest one-year loss in children’s coverage during this time period, with 320,000 more children becoming uninsured. These coverage losses occurred in a healthy economy with the lowest unemployment rate in decades prior to the economic shocks and job loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This week’s Monday numbers column takes a closer look at how children in our state are faring. 

115,000 – Number of uninsured children in North Carolina in 2016  

142,000 – Number of uninsured children in North Carolina in 2019 

27,000 – Additional North Carolina children who became uninsured over the three-year period  

5.8 – Percentage of children who are uninsured in North Carolina (2019)

4,377,000 – Number of uninsured children in the United States (2019) 

2,307,000 – Number of uninsured children in the South  

52.7 – Percentage of the nation’s uninsured children who live in the South   

9.2 Percentage of  the nation’s Latinx children who are uninsured, up from 7.9% two years ago

13.3 -Percentage of uninsured Latinx children in North Carolina. We rank third among the 10 largest states.

1.5 – Times higher North Carolina is than the national rate for uninsured Latinx children

2.9 million – Estimated number of people in the US under age 65 who will become uninsured by the end of 2020 as a consequence of the current recession (Source: Urban institute) 

300,000+  Of the 2.9 million, the estimated number who are children

22 – Number of days until the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could determine whether the entire Affordable Care Act can continue

Click here to explore the Georgetown study.

Learn more about North Carolina’s Children’s health report card here.