Proportion of uninsured children in CA drops 40% in past five years
As 2015 comes to a close, Kidsdata is pleased to deliver some very good news: More California children than ever have health coverage. Between 2010 and 2014, the estimated percentage of children who were uninsured in California fell to 5%, a 40% drop, according to the most recent data available on Kidsdata and collected by the American Community Survey. The shift, which represents an estimated 350,000 more children who now have insurance coverage, is largely due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). California’s downward trend echoes national trends: across the country, the rate of uninsurance fell to 6%, a 25% drop, during the same time period.
Still, with nearly 500,000 children in the state lacking coverage, many gaps remain. An estimated 11 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native children, for example, were uninsured in 2014—double the percentage for all children and higher than all other racial/ethnic groups. Immigrant children, especially those with undocumented parents or those who are themselves undocumented, are at particular risk of being uninsured and without regular health care.
Children with health insurance are more likely to receive needed medical care and have improved school performance, and they are less likely to have costly hospitalizations. Providing high-quality, accessible, and affordable health care to children requires comprehensive insurance coverage for all children; an appropriately trained and compensated provider base, including a sufficient number of subspecialists; parental understanding about what care is needed and how to obtain it; and effective systems of care, including "medical homes."
Continued, effective implementation of the ACA, including efforts to streamline enrollment and renewal processes, will influence progress in future years.
Health Care (summary)
California Coverage & Health Initiatives
The Children's Partnership: Children's Health Care/Health Reform
California 2014 Children's Health Insurance Fact Sheet, American Academy of Pediatrics and National Academy for State Health Policy
Children’s Coverage at a Crossroads: Progress Slows, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): Accomplishments, Challenges, and Policy Recommendations, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Health Financing
Portrait of Promise: The California Statewide Plan to Promote Health and Mental Health Equity (PDF), California Dept. of Public Health, Office of Health Equity
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Health and Health Care of Children, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Research
Want an overview of the most important data trends in children’s health this year? Find all of our 2015 advisories here.
Percentage of Uninsured Children Ages 0-17