Georgetown University Report: Pa. Kids Not Seeing Gains in Health Coverage

Analysis shows 125,000 Pennsylvania children remain without health coverage

HARRISBURG (November 29, 2018) – The number of uninsured children nationwide increased by about 276,000 children last year, the first significant increase in a decade, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. An estimated 3.9 million children were uninsured nationwide in 2017.

Pennsylvania’s rate of uninsured children has remained steady for the past three years: About 125,000 or 4.4 percent of Pennsylvania children 18 and younger were uninsured in 2017.

“With an improving economy and low unemployment rate, the fact our nation is going backwards on children’s health coverage is very troubling,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University research center and a research professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. “This trend is a warning sign to policymakers,” said Alker, the lead author of the report. “Barring new and serious efforts to get back on track, there is every reason to believe the decline in children’s coverage is likely to continue and may get worse for America’s children.”

“While our kids’ coverage rates have held steady here in Pennsylvania, we want to see progress in covering the remaining 125,000 uninsured children in our state. This report shows we must double down on efforts to find and enroll all eligible children,” said PPC Vice President of Public Policy Kari King. “We will continue to work with our partners across Pennsylvania to help our children thrive. We know that when children have health coverage they are able to get the care they need to stay healthy, enter school ready to learn and succeed in life.”

This is the eighth annual report on uninsured children published by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center founded in 2005 with a mission to expand and improve high-quality, affordable coverage for America’s children and families. The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families is based at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

View the report