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New Hampshire Top Tier State in Children's Health Coverage

More Granite State children had health insurance in 2015 compared to 2013. (Brian Brown/Flickr)
More Granite State children had health insurance in 2015 compared to 2013. (Brian Brown/Flickr)
October 27, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire is a top tier state for ensuring that children have the health care coverage they need to stay healthy.

A report released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families shows between 2013 and 2015, the number of children without health insurance dropped by 32 percent in the state and the rate of uninsured children fell about 1 percent.

Eva Stahl, director of the Community Catalyst Children's Health Project at New England Alliance for Children's Health, says there are many benefits to increasing the number of children with access to health insurance.

"They're able to get preventative care that they need to stay healthy and then they also then have access to a doctor when they're not,” she point out. “And over the long run this really can reduce health care costs and it also improves children's ability to succeed in school."

Nationally, the uninsured rate saw its sharpest two-year decline on record, as 95 percent of children had health coverage in 2015.

New Hampshire fared better and is among the top 10 states with 97 percent of Granite State children having health insurance.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, notes the drop in the number of uninsured children was widespread across income, racial and geographic lines.

She attributes that to major provisions of the Affordable Care Act complementing other important programs and policies.

"We see success around the country and I think this speaks to how despite all of the fighting and very intense partisanship around the Affordable Care Act, we can feel good as a country that we've come together through Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act and really reduced the number of uninsured children," she states.

In order to continue the positive trend, Alker contends work must continue to strengthen Medicaid, CHIP and the Affordable Care Act.

In New Hampshire, there were just under 7,000 children without health insurance in 2015, compared to about 10,000 in 2013.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NH