Affordable Care Act Delivers Quarter Million Drop in Uninsured Texas Kids

uninsured children

by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation staff:

According to a new study by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the number of uninsured children in Texas has declined by nearly 226,000. Over the past few years the 23% decrease in the number of uninsured kids in the Texas came as a direct result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Analyzing the most recent U.S. Census data, researchers found uninsured children in the state fell across all racial, ethnic and economic levels, from 13.2% in 2013 to 9.8% in 2016.  Hispanic children were among the largest group of uninsured to be affected. Approximately 117,000 Hispanic children received insurance, a 25.9% drop.   Those from middle-income households saw a 22% drop, or 96,000 fewer uninsured kids.”

This is good news for the parents and children of our country. Nationally, 2.2 million fewer children are uninsured, reflecting a 38 percent drop in the number of uninsured kids across the US.

Texas placed second only to California, in the list of states with the largest reduction in the number of uninsured kids from 2013 to 2017. The top five states with fewer uninsured children included:

  • California (455,150 fewer uninsured children)
  • Texas (225,678)
  • Florida (212,363)
  • Georgia (85,337)
  • Arizona (83,322)

“The decline in the number of uninsured children after the enactment of the ACA is historic and persistent,” said report author Elizabeth Lukanen. “It is especially encouraging to see rates of uninsured children drop in almost all states and across kids of different demographic and income groups. Given the uncertain health policy environment, ongoing monitoring of children’s insurance rates will be necessary to ensure these reductions are sustained.”

“Between 2013 and 2016, the percentage of uninsured children in Texas dropped regardless of the highest level of education attained in the household, but the reduction was greatest in households where the highest education level was high school or less, from 20% of children in those uninsured households in 2013 to 15.1% in 2016.”

“When adults gain coverage, kids do too, as seen by these very positive trends between 2013 and 2016,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The process also works in reverse—so given the recent uptick in the uninsurance rate and the potential for more, we should be aware that this progress in kids’ coverage may be jeopardized.”

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