2020 State of Children’s Health Care: Unlocking Access to a Healthy Childhood
Posted by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children on December 1, 2020
[via United Way’s Common Good Newsletter]
PA ranks high in rate of uninsured children: PPC report
No child should be without health insurance. However, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children’s recently released 2020 State of Children’s Health Care: Unlocking Access to a Healthy Childhood report shows Pennsylvania has the 8th highest number of uninsured kids in the nation, with nearly 128,000 uninsured children who ultimately do not have regular access to care for optimal development and learning.
Since last year’s report, Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate increased slightly from 4.4% to 4.6%. Although it remains lower than the national average of 5.7%, the state rate is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to children’s health insurance.
What’s worse? The 2020 report uses the most recent uninsured data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which was captured prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means more Pennsylvania kids headed into the public health emergency without basic health coverage.
Factors such as age, poverty level, race and ethnicity, and geographic region impact children’s access to health insurance. In the commonwealth, children younger than six years of age and children from low-income families are more likely to be uninsured, and children who identify as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, or White have increasing uninsured rates compared to the prior year.
In addition to health care coverage, several social determinants of health are a focus of the report, including maternal health, access to safe, lead-free housing, nutrition, and access to oral health care.
This report sets forth a robust public policy agenda for maintaining and strengthening the ability of children in Pennsylvania to access health care. Working together with child health care advocates, medical professionals and policymakers, we can give children the key to achieving life-long learning and future success, because no child should be locked out of a healthy childhood.
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