As most of you know, the government shutdown has come to an end. That means that Voices for Children once again has access to our much needed data. With the U.S. Census data back up, we’re getting back to business as usual and investigating children and health insurance in Nebraska.
Overall, the picture looks pretty good for Nebraska kids with nearly 94% of children under 18 having health insurance in 2012. The rate of insurance has changed little in the last 4 years.
Of Nebraska children with insurance, 72% have private insurance and 31% have public (Medicaid/CHIP) health insurance.
When we dig deeper, a different story unfolds. While Nebraska has quite high health insurance rates overall for kids, the data shows us some prevalent racial disparities with children of Hispanic or American Indian origin having the greatest percentage of being uninsured.
Looking at income breakdowns of all Nebraskans (not just kids) also reveals some disproportionality in who has health insurance coverage and who does not. Nebraskans with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level ($46,100 a year for a family of 4) are much more likely to be uninsured than their higher income counterparts.
So, what does all of this data mean for Nebraska’s kids? For the most part, the news is good – nearly all kids have some sort of health insurance coverage. For those 6% of kids without health insurance, we know that they are more likely children of color and lower-income. Over the next few years, we expect the picture to change as more children and families get connected with coverage as the Affordable Care Act takes effect and individuals get signed up on the health exchanges.