39,000 children in Kansas lacked health coverage in ‘17

Kansas had 5,000 more children without health insurance in 2017 than it did the year before, placing the state slightly above the national average as lawmakers prepare to again debate Medicaid expansion.

Supporters of expansion say it would help lower the rate of children without coverage, which dropped to record lows just a few years ago.

Nearly 40,000 Kansas children lacked coverage in 2017, up from 34,000 in 2016, according to a report by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.

The statewide rate of uninsured children - defined as those under 19 years old - was 5.2 percent in 2017, up from 4.5 percent in 2016. In Massachusetts, by contrast, just 1.5 percent of children are uninsured.

Growing up without health coverage can alter the path of a child’s life, for the worse. Uninsured children are more likely to have unmet health needs, the Georgetown report says. Untreated medical conditions ultimately lead to missed school days and reduce a child’s chances of educational success.


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