Children’s Medicaid & CHIP

11.2% of Texas kids were uninsured in 2018.

Source: 2018 US Census Data

All Texans should have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Ensuring that our children can access health care is particularly essential, because early diagnosis can be the difference between a lifetime disability, or a child reaching their highest possible potential.

health care doctor and baby

Equity in Focus

Children in every race and ethnic category in Texas are dramatically more likely to be uninsured than U.S children overall.  But Hispanic children in Texas are far more likely to lack the coverage that can provide a health care home.  This puts Texas Hispanic children at a greater risk of missed diagnoses and developmental delays.

2018 Uninsured Rates by Race/Ethnicity — Texas Children 

  • White, non-Hispanic: 8.1%
  • Black, non-Hispanic: 6.9%
  • Asian, non-Hispanic: 6.2%
  • Hispanic: 14.8%

Background

Texas has the worst rate of uninsured children (11.2 percent of Texas kids uninsured in 2018) in the country–more than twice the national rate of 5.5%!  After a decade of improving health coverage Texas kids have had two years. Additionally, there has been a steady decline of children enrolled in the Texas Medicaid program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) since 2017. 

Key contributing factors: 

  • In recent years the state of Texas has done very little outreach to market the availability of these programs. 
  • Anti-immigrant rhetoric has caused immigrants and mixed-status families (i.e. families that include both U.S. citizens and non-citizens) to drop their coverage and the coverage of their children out of fear that participation will lead to deportation or cause difficulty with changing their immigration status. 
  • Additionally, Texas has adopted particularly unforgiving policies for children enrolled in Medicaid that result in thousands of children being disenrolled due to red tape.
Related Resources

Meet Our Staff

Anne Dunkelberg

Associate Director, Program Director - Health and Wellness Team

Melissa McChesney
Melissa McChesney

Senior Policy Analyst, Health and Wellness Team