Report Highlights Calif. for Low Rate of Uninsured Hispanic Kids
California's rate of uninsured Hispanic children last year was lower than the national average, according to a report by the National Council of La Raza and Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, the Public News Service reports (Thomas, Public News Service, 11/13).
Details of Report
The report was based on data from the 2011 and 2013 American Community Survey published by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The report included national findings, but also examined 10 states with "substantial" populations of uninsured Hispanic children.
The number of uninsured Hispanic children in the U.S. fell from about 2.2 million in 2011 to about two million in 2013.
Nationally, the average rate of uninsured Hispanic children was 11.5% in 2013. States with lower rates were:
- New York, with a rate of 4.7%;
- California, with a rate of 9.6%; and
- New Jersey, with a rate of 9.8%.
California has the second largest population of uninsured Hispanic children, at 454,740, according to the report. The state accounts for 22.3% of all uninsured Hispanic children in the U.S.
The number of uninsured Hispanic children in California dropped by 56,000 between 2011 and 2013 (Schwartz et al., NCLR/Center for Children and Families report, November 2014).
Kristen Golden Testa, California health director of the Children's Partnership, said the drop can be attributed in part to the state's early expansion of Medi-Cal and efforts to make the sign-up process easy for parents. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Public News Service, 11/13).
Room for Improvement
The report noted that while the rate of uninsured Hispanic children has declined in recent years, they still are more than twice as likely to be uninsured than white non-Hispanic children.
In addition, Hispanic children have the second-highest uninsured rate (NCLR/Center for Children and Families report, November 2014).
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of all uninsured Hispanic children in 2012 were eligible for public health insurance, according to a Center for Children and Families release.
To increase the number of insured Hispanic children, the report recommends that:
- Hispanic families take advantage of existing public coverage programs;
- The federal government and states make it easy for Hispanic families to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act; and
- States expand their Medicaid programs (Center for Children and Families release, 11/10).