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Arizona Still Has One of the Highest Rates of Uninsured Children, but the Rate Is Dropping

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Arizona still has the third-highest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

However, that rate is dropping, and a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides some insight into what type of kids are getting insured.

About 13.2 percent of Arizona kids are uninsured, according to the latest data available from 2012. That's down from 15.7 percent in 2008. Nevada and Alaska lead the nation in uninsured children at 17 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.

This new report shows some attributes of which children are uninsured in Arizona. Surprisingly, income isn't as big of a factor as it is in other states.

Children living in poverty, or up to 138 percent of the poverty line, are uninsured at a rate of 15.5 percent. Kids between 139 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line are uninsured at a rate of 15.3 percent -- nearly the same rate. Meanwhile, at more than 400 percent of the poverty line, just 4.5 percent of Arizona children are uninsured (which still is high, compared to almost every other state).

A higher percentage of Hispanic children are uninsured than white or other non-white children in Arizona, but at 17 percent, the rate of uninsured Hispanic children in Arizona actually is lower than the rate in eight other states.

Outside of this report, it would seem that Arizona's rate of uninsured children will only get lower because of the Obamacare exchange.

The latest Obamacare enrollment stats show that no state has a higher percentage of enrollments for children than Arizona, at 19 percent. That means nearly 11,000 more children got health insurance in Arizona, assuming their parents actually make the payments on their plans.

In addition, once people put in their information on the healthcare.gov website, it will tell them if they're eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program in their state, instead directing them to private insurance through the exchange. That applied to nearly 67,000 Arizonans, although U.S. Department of Health & Human Services statistics don't state how many of these determinations were actually children.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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