Even with more American children living in poverty because of the rough economy, the number of children without health insurance has dropped by 1 million in the past three years, according to a report released Tuesday by Georgetown University.
Many states have expanded eligibility for, and simplified access to, the children's Medicaid program. This has helped cut the number of uninsured children from 6.9 million in 2008 to 5.9 million in 2010. Experts say the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care overhaul that requires states to maintain income eligibility levels and discourages other barriers to coverage, has played a key role in the improvement.
Overall, 34 states had a significant decrease in the rate of uninsured children.
Florida made the most progress, dropping from 667,758 to 506,934 during that time period, although the state still has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the nation.
Minnesota, Kansas and Wisconsin saw an increase in the number of uninsured children.
Nevada has the highest rate of uninsured children while Massachusetts has the lowest.
The findings are based on new health insurance data from the Census Bureau. It was done by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families.