Posted on: October 14, 2020 Posted by: Children Health Mag Comments: 0
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — A new report states the rate of uninsured children in North Carolina increased for the fourth straight year in 2019.

The findings, compiled by the The Center for Children & Families (CCF), part of the Health Policy Institute at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, spell out troubling trends that have been felt throughout much of the country.

“I didn’t expect last year to be so bad, especially because we had such a strong economy,” said Joan Alker, the executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children & Families and author of the report.

After hitting a low of 4.6% child uninsured rate in 2015, North Carolina clocked in at 5.8% in 2019, slightly above the national average of 5.7%. North Carolina ranks 33rd in the country (including Washington, D.C.) in child uninsured rate. Alker believes one policy change can have a major impact in the state.

“The data is very clear. States that have expanded Medicaid, their child uninsured rate is about half as high as states that have not,” said Alker.

North Carolina is one of twelve states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion; Missouri and Oklahoma have both adopted expansion, but have not yet implemented it.

RELATED: Medicaid enrollment, costs growing as unemployment surges in North Carolina

Outside Medicaid expansion, Alker pointed to a jarring difference in Hispanic/Latino children uninsured rates compared to their counterparts as a key concern. In North Carolina, 13.3% of