The rate of uninsured children in Florida and across the nation is on the rise. A new report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families finds that in 2017, the number of uninsured kids nationwide stood at an estimated 3.9 million children; that’s an increase of about 267,000 kids, including 37,000 more uninsured children compared to 2016 in Florida alone.
Georgetown University researchers have been putting out this report since 2008, and last year was the first time the annual study showed an increase in the number of uninsured children in all 50 states. Three-quarters of all children in the U.S. who lost coverage between 2016 and 2017 were in states like Florida that have not expanded Medicaid. Children under the age of six saw the biggest increase.
In a ranking by raw numbers, Florida comes in 49th among the 50 states in the U.S. when it comes to the number of uninsured children last year. Only Texas had more uninsured kids and only the District of Columbia experienced a decline in the rate of uninsured youths.
Child health advocates call the report a wake-up call for state and federal lawmakers, and the study’s authors say they expect the current trend to continue this year.
We’ll speak with the Center for Children and Families Executive Director Joan Alker for a closer look at the report findings, what’s behind this concerning course reversal and what it means for Florida families.