Florida had second-largest increase of uninsured children nationally, study finds

By The Numbers

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Children in Florida are uninsured at an increasingly alarming rate, according to a new study released Friday.

The report from Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families shows 243,000 children in Texas lost their health care insurance between 2016 and 2019. It was the biggest loss of children’s insurance across the country.

Florida had the second-highest amount of insurance loss. The study shows 55,000 children in the state lost health insurance during the three-year period, bringing its total to an estimated 343,000 uninsured children in 2019. That’s the second-largest total in the country.

Together, Texas and Florida account for 41% of children’s coverage losses across the country.

The study, based on U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, says a disproportionate number of children live in the south: nearly 53% – the most out of any region in the U.S.

Across the country, the number of uninsured children began to increase in 2017, coinciding with the decline of Medicaid enrollment. The number of children in the United States without health insurance reached 4.4 million in 2019 – an increase of 726,000 during the three-year timeframe.

The coverage losses were widespread across income, age and race/ethnicity but were largest among white and especially Latino children.

Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families

The study says there are many reasons why so many children are now uninsured. The reasons listed include:

  • “Hostile” political climate toward immigrant families
  • Significant funding cuts to outreach and enrollment assistance
  • Trump administration’s efforts against the Affordable Care Act

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