Hispanic Children Least Likely to Have Health Insurance

Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Language Barriers to Coverage
June 15, 2016

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Summary

This policy brief examines health insurance coverage of Hispanic children and its relationship to their citizenship status, their parents’1 citizenship status, parents’ insurance coverage, language spoken at home, and their state’s Medicaid expansion policies.

Hispanic Children Are Least Likely to Have Health Insurance

In 2014, 94 percent of U.S. children had health insurance.2  Although this is a record high for children’s coverage, 4.3 million children still remain without health insurance, and Hispanic children make up a disproportionate share of this group.

Hispanic children have historically had the highest rates of uninsurance among children of any racial/ethnic group.3 In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, 95.4 percent of non-Hispanic white children, 95.3 percent of black children, and 94.4 percent of multiracial children had health insurance coverage. In comparison, only 90.3 percent of Hispanic children were covered, leaving more than 1.7 million Hispanic children uninsured. Hispanic children in rural areas are less likely to have health insurance than Hispanic children in urban areas (9.4 percent versus 12.2 percent, respectively).

Nearly 40 percent of all uninsured children are Hispanic, although Hispanic children make up only 24.3 percent of children in the United States (see Figure 1). By contrast, though nearly 52 percent of U.S. children are non-Hispanic white, they comprise only 40 percent of uninsured children. Black, non-Hispanic children account for 13.6 percent of children in the United States but just 10.8 percent of uninsured children.