The trend had been steady in 2018, but the segment of uninsured children in the state has climbed.
In 2018, Pennsylvania health insurance data showed that the rate of uninsured kids had been holding study. However, last year, showed that the trend broke and more children were going without coverage.
There are concerns that this situation could worsen as families face COVID-19 pandemic fallout.
The Pennsylvania health insurance uninsured rate among children aged 18 years and younger hit 4.6 percent. That grew by 0.2 percent from 2018 and 2019, according to the annual report released by the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
Almost 128,000 children in the state do not have coverage, reported the nonpartisan group. Kids living in rural counties have a higher risk of being uninsured than those closer to cities. The group also listed Medicaid enrollment declines. Moreover, the group pointed to the Trump administration’s efforts to cut into the Affordable Care Act as an additional reason that fewer kids are on a health plan.
The environment for Pennsylvania health insurance coverage for kids is increasingly difficult.
“The welcome mat to coverage really has been withdrawn in the past few years,” said Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families executive director Joan Alker.
Alker was the leader on another children’s health coverage report which identified a pattern that aligned with this more recent study of kids’ insurance enrollment. That said, her report focused on the trends across the country. According to her figures, the number of uninsured kids increased by 726,000 across the United States from 2016 through 2019, using Georgetown center data.
Approximately 60 percent of uninsured children and teens across the country are eligible for Medicaid or the public Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but have not been enrolled, explained Alker. She underscored an issue with public outreach and activity budget cuts with respect to Affordable Care Act enrollment when Donald Trump became president.
Alker also stated that families “have been getting pretty negative messages” about public Pennsylvania health insurance coverage throughout the Trump administration’s efforts to take the ACA apart and to cut Medicaid. She said that beyond that, many people also find that it is complicated to figure out precisely which insurance program is appropriate, particularly when it comes to covering kids.