There is no debate over the fact that children are losing Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.
Overall, more than 828,000, or 2.2 percent, fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, combined, at the end of 2018 than the previous year. A drop in child enrollment is unusual; between 2000 and 2016, enrollment declined in only one year—2007—by 1.1 percent. During this period, the nation achieved historic success in covering children with the rate of uninsured children reaching an all-time low of 4.7 percent in 2016. In 2017, child enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP was basically flat while the uninsured rate for children increased for the first time in a decade to 5 percent despite the strong economy.
The decline in children’s enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP reinforces serious concerns that this alarming trend could continue—and perhaps even worsen. At a time when the economy is strong, the critical question is whether these children are moving to private coverage or becoming uninsured—a question that will not be answered definitively until the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data become available this fall.
To view the report, go here.