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Insight & Analysis / Colorado Health Report Card: Childhood Uninsured Rates Are Down

Since 2007, Colorado children under age 13 gained health insurance at a faster rate than any other age group in the state. That’s one of the findings of the latest Colorado Health Report Card, which was released this week.

In the 2007 Health Report Card, 14.1 percent of children were uninsured. But that proportion dropped by half, to 7.1 percent, in this year’s Report Card.

Colorado moved up seven spots in state rankings of uninsured children since the 2007 Report Card, the first to generally use the same health indicators as this year’s version. This movement may be a result of the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) expansion in 2010. While the trend is in the right direction, Colorado is still ranked 37th among the states. By comparison, Massachusetts has the lowest rate of uninsured children at 1.5 percent. Nevada has a 13 percent uninsured rate for kids and ranks 50th.

Health insurance rates also improved for teens and adults, though Colorado still lags well behind other states.

In adolescent rankings, Colorado slipped to 41st place this year from 38th in the previous Report Card and remained the same, at 25th place, for adults. The 2015 Report Card estimates that 11.6 percent of Colorado adolescents and 18.5 percent of adults are not covered by private or public health insurance. Children, adolescents and adults are all ranked in the bottom half of all 50 states for their uninsured rates.

It’s important to note that the 2007 Report Card used data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, while the more recent Report Cards use the American Community Survey, which did not ask about health insurance in 2007.

Major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2014, after uninsured data were collected for this year’s Report Card, so looking at uninsured rates in next year’s Report Card will provide insight into the effects of the ACA.

The ninth annual Colorado Health Report Card is a joint project of the Colorado Health Foundation and the Colorado Health Institute. It includes a wealth of data on the state’s progress on 38 health indicators.


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