In this brief, author Michael Staley examines rates of children’s health insurance across the United States, by region and by place type, breaking down rates by private and public coverage. He reports that over 95 percent of all U.S. children under age 18 were covered by some form of health insurance in 2015—the highest share since the American Community Survey began measuring insurance rates in 2008. Rates of coverage increased between 2014 and 2015 in all four U.S. regions, and the greatest growth occurred in the South and West. Growth in public insurance—Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program— remained a major driver of increases in children’s coverage: over 375,000 more children were covered in 2015 than in the previous year. For the second consecutive year, however, rates of private health insurance coverage increased among children: in 2015, approximately 150,000 more children were covered by private insurance than in the previous year. The author concludes that any future attempts to reform health insurance ought to be scrutinized for their impact on children’s health insurance.

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2017


National Issue Brief No. 119


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2017. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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