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Idaho Sees Increase In Rate Of Uninsured Children

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

A new national report from Georgetown University shows children in the U.S. lost health insurance at a rapid rate during the past two years. The researchers say this trend emerged as states started dismantling and repealing segments of the Affordable Care Act.


In Idaho, 6.1% of children do not have health insurance, the Georgetown study found. Just 10 states had higher percentages of uninsured children.

Idaho Voices for Children, a nonprofit program of Jannus, Inc., released a report at the same time, which finds Idaho had the highest rate increase of uninsured children of any state between 2017 to 2018.

“It's the public coverage that has dropped so significantly in Idaho," said Liz Woodruff, the assistant director of Idaho Voices for Children. "We believe it’s the CHIP and Medicaid programs that are driving that rate of uninsured children.”

Woodruff said Idaho’s drop in coverage is largely tied to confusing and time-intensive enrollment procedures.

The report also found Idaho's Latinx have a higher uninsured rate compared to white children.

Woodruff said Medicaid expansion, which takes effect November 1 in Idaho, could be an opportunity. 


“We’re excited to see the way that expanding Medicaid in the state can help get these children into health insurance when their parents get health coverage.”


The Georgetown study found states that have not expanded Medicaid saw increases in the rate of uninsured children more than three times larger than states that had. 

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen  

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