Missouri Rate Of Uninsured Children Tops National Average
Missouri has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, and the number is growing, according to a new report.
The Georgetown University report found an estimated 83,000 children were uninsured in 2018: 21,000 more than in 2016.
The rate of uninsured children has increased nationally, but with 5.7 percent of Missouri children uninsured, the state is above the national average.
Georgetown professor Joan Alker was the lead author on the report and said Missouri is part of a group of states that have seen the biggest increases in uninsured children. "States that have not expanded Medicaid to parents and other adults under the ACA saw an increase in their rate of uninsured kids that was three times as large as states that have," Alker said.
The report said it’s unusual for the number of uninsured children to increase during economic growth.
According to Alker, in the 10 years Georgetown has published this report, it has never seen increases in the uninsured rate on this scale at the state level.
In a statement, the Missouri Budget Project's Research Director Lindsey Baker raised concerns about the report's findings. "The census data included in the report may not fully reflect the extent of children’s coverage loss. The recently released Census data is self-report. But many families who have lost Medicaid and CHIP coverage only found out when they saw a doctor or tried to refill a medication. If they were unaware that coverage had been terminated, they wouldn’t report being uninsured."
Texas had the highest overall rate of uninsured children in the country.