Rate of Kids Without Health Insurance Continues to Hold in 2017

Posted December 11, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Update rateofkidswithouthealthinsurance 2018

From 2009 to 2015, the risk of a child grow­ing up with­out health insur­ance dropped annu­al­ly. Over the past three years, how­ev­er, this sta­tis­tic has flat­lined at 5% of the nation’s child pop­u­la­tion. While the rate of unin­sured chil­dren remained steady, the actu­al num­ber of kids with­out health cov­er­age increased for the first time in near­ly a decade.

In 2017, 3.9 mil­lion chil­dren lacked med­ical insur­ance in the Unit­ed States. Most of these chil­dren — 75% — are between the ages of 6 and 18. Amer­i­can Indi­an (13%) and Lati­no (8%) chil­dren are much more like­ly to lack health insur­ance com­pared to the aver­age child (5%).

Med­ical insur­ance plays an impor­tant role in help­ing kids remain active, healthy and in school. Com­pared to their unin­sured peers, kids with insur­ance are more like­ly to have a reg­u­lar source of health care that they can access for pre­ven­tive ser­vices and for the treat­ment of acute and chron­ic con­di­tions. Health insur­ance also pro­tects fam­i­lies from finan­cial cri­sis when a child expe­ri­ences a seri­ous ill­ness or injury.

Most chil­dren either have med­ical insur­ance through a parent’s employ­er-based health care plan (49%) or are cov­ered by pub­lic health insur­ance (35%), such as Med­ic­aid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insur­ance Pro­gram or a state health insur­ance program.

Health Insur­ance Data in the KIDS COUNT Data Center

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