ACA Reducing the Rate of Uninsured Children

Earlier this week I wrote about one of the crowning achievements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being the increased participation in Medicaid for people below the poverty level. Only about 52 percent of eligible adults participate in Medicaid as of now. Turns out that increasing participation among adults also increases participation among children who live in poverty.

Nearly 70 percent of the nation’s 9 million uninsured children are already eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program but are not enrolled.

This snippet comes to us via research from By Leighton Ku and Matt Broaddus at CBPP, which demonstrates that when states expand Medicaid (an option under the Affordable Care Act), the percentage of children uninsured goes down.

Apart from the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medicaid programs in various states shows that as more parents are covered, more children become covered. As the ACA rolls out and insurance coverage is mandated, more and more parents are finding out they are eligible for Medicaid and are participating in the program.

When both parents and children are covered, children are much more likely to get preventative treatments and screenings as well.

This problem hits home especially in Nevada, where the rate of uninsured children is twice the national average and the highest rate in the nation. Nevada has expanded Medicaid under the ACA, so the impact may be especially significant here.