Alabama’s rate of uninsured children plunged to 2.4 percent in 2016

child health care

Things are looking up for children in Alabama. According to new U.S. Census data released this week, nearly 49 of every 50 children in the Yellowhammer State had health coverage in 2016. The rate of uninsured children to dropped to 2.4 percent, from 2015’s 3.1 percent — far below below the national average.

A huge piece of the credit for those recent coverage gains belongs to Medicaid and ALL Kids, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister said Thursday. Combined the programs cover nearly 800,000 Alabama children who live in households with low or moderate incomes.

“All children deserve consistent, appropriate health care, and Alabama does a good job of helping them get it,” said Forrister. “Medicaid and ALL Kids help kids stay healthy so they can learn, play and thrive. It’s essential to ensure these programs have the funding they need to continue providing health coverage for our most vulnerable residents.”

The new figures are particularly incredible for the state’s children considering nearly one in four kids, 24.3 percent, in the state lived in poverty in 2016.

Congress is currently set to debate federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is known as the ALL Kids in Alabama, as it is set to expire Sept. 30 unless it is renewed.

“Children’s health care is too important to be left up to chance,” Forrister added. “We urge Congress to protect Medicaid and ALL Kids and work together in a bipartisan way to make health care more accessible and more affordable for all Americans.”