New report shows uninsured children could double — Black, Latino children to lead the lossHealth
Medicaid has long been the largest insurer of American children, with more than 35 million enrolled.
The pandemic increased those numbers — and children’s urgent need for health care. Nearly 14 million U.S. children have contracted childhood COVID, and our youngest remain unvaccinated. More than 257,000 children have lost a caregiver, augmenting the full-blown pediatric mental health crisis.
And yet: Administrative burdens are expected to cost nearly 7 million children their Medicaid coverage in the next few months.
A report released today by First Focus on Children, FamiliesUSA and UnidosUS drills down on these numbers and finds that once again, the losses will land hardest on children of color. Specifically:
- 13% of all Black children and 12% of all Latino children in the United States will lose Medicaid
- The number of children losing Medicaid will be many times the size of the largest previous one-year Medicaid loss in American history
- If only half of children losing Medicaid became uninsured in the next 12 months, the number of uninsured children in the country would nearly double
- Most of these losses will result from administrative red tape, not actual ineligibility
And this is the best-case scenario.
But none of this has to happen. The report’s central recommendation is that states maximize renewal of children’s coverage based on available data showing continued eligibility,asfederalstatutes, regulations and guidance already require.
To download the report, which also contains state-specific data, please visit this link.