Nevada has nation’s 6th highest rate of uninsured children

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On the bright side, the number of Nevada children without health insurance didn’t measurably increase from 2017 to 2018.

But it didn’t decrease, either, leaving Nevada with the sixth highest rate of uninsured children in the country, according to the latest report on uninsured children in the U.S. from Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

The roughly 58,000 without insurance is equivalent to an 8 percent uninsured rate. Texas had the nation’s highest rate, at 11.5 percent, followed by Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, and then Nevada.

oyThe U.S. rate in 2018 was 5.2 percent, according to the Georgetown study, the third straight year of increase. The climb marks a reversal — the rate had been dropping steadily since 2008. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of uninsured children in the U.S. increased by 400,000, bringing the nationwide total to more than 4 million. 

“Bipartisan initiatives and the Affordable Care Act that successfully reduced the child uninsured rate for many years have been undercut by recent policy changes, and the U.S. is now reverting backward on children’s health coverage,” the study said.

While Nevada’s number was stable between 2017 and 2018, the number of uninsured rose 16 percent between 2016 and 2017.

A decade ago, 20 percent of children in Nevada were uninsured. Prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, Nevada perennially had among the highest rates of uninsured people in the nation. With the expansion of Medicaid through the ACA, the rate began to drop.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.