Indiana’s Increase in Uninsured Kids a “Puzzling Concern”

first_imgStatewide—After years of trending downward, the number of children without health care insurance in Indiana and the U.S. is on the rise again, according to a new report.The study, released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, finds that the uninsured child rate in Indiana rose from 5.9% in 2016 to 6.6% in 2018.Dr. Sarah Stelzner, co-legislative chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Indiana chapter, says that’s 10,000 more children without health care coverage.“I was really saddened and disappointed to see that,” she states. “We’re supposedly in an economic boom right now and so many children are losing health coverage instead of gaining it. That’s a puzzle that I think we all need to be concerned about.”There were more than 4 million children in the U.S. without health care insurance in 2018, an 11% increase from 2016.Stelzner says continuous health insurance ensures children can access the routine medical care needed for healthy development and so much more. “There’s so many powerful and long-term impacts on their health as an adult, their educational outcomes, their ability to graduate from high school and get into college, get great jobs to really begin to contribute to our communities and to our society,” she states.Georgetown Center executive director Joan Alker notes that the rate of uninsured children nationally has been increasing since 2016. She’s calling on federal and state government to make children’s health a priority. “Start reducing those red-tape barriers, start funding more outreach and enrollment efforts, so that families know they can get coverage and then, how they can get coverage, and they can do it easily,” she urges.Alker adds that efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and delays in funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have made the problem worse.last_img

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