Kentucky continues to cover children with health insurance at a rate well above the national average, according to a new report authored by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families and released by Kentucky Youth Advocates, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Voices for Health, and Covering Kentucky Kids and Families. Kentucky’s rate of uninsured kids was measured at 6.0% in 2010, not statistically different from the measured rate of 6.5% for 2008, despite challenging unemployment and increases in child poverty. Nationwide, the rate of uninsured children went from 9.0% in 2008 to 8.0% in 2010.
Analyzing newly available data from the Census Bureau, the Georgetown researchers examined the changes in coverage rates for children from 2008 through 2010. Over that time period, Kentucky had about 62,000 uninsured children according to the report, which uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia reduced their rate of uninsured children over those three years, while only one state (Minnesota) experienced an increase in the rate. Kentucky and the remaining states held steady and saw no significant change in coverage rates.
While state-specific demographic data are not available, nationally there are some important differences worth noting among demographic groups. Hispanic and Native American children remain disproportionately uninsured, older children are less likely to be covered than younger children, and uninsured rates are higher for children living in families earning below 50 percent of the poverty line.