FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Nicolet, 312.368.2675
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois’s rate of uninsured Hispanic children is now at 4.5 percent, according to a new report released today by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, the National Council of La Raza, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Everthrive Illinois. Advocates note this is less than half the national average of 9.7 percent.
“Healthy kids make healthy learners,” said Sonya Schwartz, a research fellow at the Georgetown University Center. “Investing in health coverage for all children today is important because they are the doctors, teachers and workers of tomorrow.”
The report, which assesses uninsurance rates during the first year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), found that Illinois was home to about 33,000 uninsured Hispanic children in 2014. The low rate of uninsurance is largely attributed to passage of All Kids in Illinois, which ensures all children have access to health care regardless of immigration status. Advocates also cite expansion of Medicaid and investment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“We’re proud of the state’s progress in helping all Illinois families get the health coverage they need to succeed,” said Andrea Kovach from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. “Today’s report tells us that we are on the right path. But we know there is room to improve, particularly in closing the gap in coverage between all kids and Hispanic children.”
The uninsured rate of Hispanic kids (4.5 percent) is still greater than the rate for all kids (3.3 percent). Advocates argue that closing this health coverage gap and passing a responsible budget without cuts to essential services like health care will help all families succeed and ensure the future prosperity of the state. They also urge continued outreach to help families enroll their children.
“The continuation of Illinois’s All Kids program and the expansion of Medicaid have helped more kids and families access quality health coverage,” added Kovach. “And yet, our state is home to the 11th largest population of uninsured Hispanic kids. We can and should do better. Our investment in today’s kids is an investment in Illinois’ future.”
Individuals can learn more about their health coverage options – for both themselves and their children – by visiting: https://getcovered.illinois.gov. To learn more about All Kids, visit http://www.allkids.com/.
View the complete report, Historic Gains in Health Coverage for Hispanic Children in the Affordable Care Act’s First Year, at http://ccf.georgetown.edu/ccf-resources/health-coverage-hispanic-children-affordable-care-act-first-year/.
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.orgDownload this