In October 2019, the number of uninsured children (under age 19) rose for the first time since 2008, wiping out much of the gains made under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families (CCF). Between 2016 and 2018, the number of uninsured children in the United States rose by more than 400,000 bringing the total number to more than 4 million uninsured children nationwide, said the report, “The Number of Uninsured Children Is on the Rise.” The rate of uninsured children rose from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent in that same period.
The trend is troubling because it occurred during a period of economic growth when children should be gaining health coverage, a factor that indicates the uninsured rate may rise during an economic downturn, according to the authors of the report, Joan Alker and Lauren Roygardner. The data in the report are based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey for the period 2016 to 2018.
Nationwide, the losses in coverage are widespread (except in North Dakota), and most significant losses came in 15 states.