The Number of Uninsured Children Is On the Rise

At the Packard Foundation, our Children, Families, and Communities program strives to ensure that all children have access to high-quality health care and early learning experiences. We invest in the practices, advocacy, and research that help children develop the bodies, brains, and relationships they need for success in school and life. A key partner in our effort to secure access to quality health care for children and families is the Center for Children and Families (CCF) at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.

CCF’s ninth annual report on the state of health insurance coverage for kids has found that the number of uninsured kids has increased by more than 400,000 between 2016 and 2018, reversing a long-term trend and bringing the new total of uninsured children across the nation to over four million. Of note, this report finds that states that have not expanded Medicaid are more likely to have higher rates of uninsured children, and the situation is also worsening more rapidly in those states. The report points to several national policies and efforts that are eroding health coverage for children, including attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and deeply cut Medicaid funding, reducing outreach and advertising resources, encouraging states to make processes harder for those who are eligible to enroll in public coverage, policies that create fear and confusion for immigrant families, and other actions.

Download the report