Reversing years of gains, the number of Louisiana children without health insurance spiked by 28% in 2019 to an estimated 50,000 kids – the largest single-year increase since the U.S. Census Bureau began keeping track in 2008. Louisiana’s uninsured rate for children was 4.4% last year – up from historic low of 3.1% in 2017.
A new report from the Louisiana Budget Project examines this data, which translates to an additional 14,000 children going without coverage since the 2017 nadir.
“This damaging trend will have long-term consequences for children and communities across Louisiana,” LBP Policy Director Stacey Roussel said. “Without health coverage, children cannot access the care they need to grow and thrive.”
The rising uninsured rate occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coverage trend is likely to have gotten worse for children in 2020, as their parents lost jobs and health coverage, but that data won’t be available until next year.
Louisiana’s coverage erosion echoes a national trend that has left an estimated 726,000 fewer children with health insurance coverage since President Donald Trump took office.
Click here to read LBP’s report on Louisiana’s coverage rates. And click here to read a report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families that examines the nationwide trend.