Report: Missouri's Youngest Kids are Rapidly Losing Coverage

From The Missouri Finish Line Collaborative:

Missouri’s youngest children are losing health care coverage at an alarming rate, according to an analysis released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The drastic increase in both the number and rate of Missouri children under age 6 without insurance leaves kids vulnerable at a time of critical brain development and can have lasting consequences.

Extraordinary growth and development occur in the first five years of a child’s life. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 15 well child visits before age 6, and those visits are more concentrated in the first two years. In addition to vaccinations and early preventive care, developmental screenings provided at the visits can detect any delays and allow for early intervention. Regular health care can provide healthy habits for life, and families that have access to regular healthcare, including check-ups and screenings, can help prepare their child for lifelong success.

Between 2016 and 2018, Missouri saw a significant increase in both the number and rate of uninsured young children.
In fact, the state’s 1.7 percentage point increase in the rate of uninsured young kids (from 3.6 to 5.3%) was the highest in the country. The number of young, uninsured Missouri children jumped 46%.
While the uninsured rate has been increasing, Missouri has been experiencing issues with its Medicaid program. As a result of information technology changes and new renewal procedures implemented in 2018, about 100,000 children have lost Medicaid and CHIP coverage in Missouri over the past two years – despite many of those children still being eligible for services. What’s more, the 2018 Census data used in the report may not fully reflect the extent of Missouri children’s coverage losses, as many families may have lost coverage after the survey occurred.

Continuous health coverage is critical for kids, families, and communities, but barriers make it difficult to obtain and keep Medicaid and CHIP health coverage. Today's report underscores the need for Missouri to do all it can to get and keep kids covered so they get the care they need to learn and be healthy. Implementing 12-month continuous coverage, boosting outreach, and addressing enrollment barriers would help to ensure Missouri kids are covered.
Read the Full Report.

Read Our Press Release.

What Can YOU do? 

Go social.  Help share the important findings of this report by using the sample posts below or sharing posts from Kids Win Missouri, the Missouri Budget Project, or the Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.  

Submit a letter to the editor to help spread the word. Help Cover Our Kids maximize this opportunity to educate Missourians about the need for kids to have health insurance by submitting a letter to the editor. Contact Traci Gleason at for more information.  

Share the findings with your networks. Please include this information in your next newsletter or e-mail update. If you’d like information more personalized for your organization, contact Casey Hanson at    

Join our initiative to ensure we Cover Our Kids. As we work to advance policy solutions that improve Medicaid for children and families, we need partners to help us advocate. Commit today to joining our effort to ensure that all eligible children and families can get and keep their coverage by signing up here.

Help Spread the Word on Social Media!

From 2016-2018, Missouri saw a 46% increase in the number of uninsured children under 6. Lack of coverage means young kids may miss developmental milestones crucial to long-term success. We must do better: #CoverOurKids
The uninsured rate for Missouri's youngest children is on the rise. To ensure our kids are healthy and prepared for success in school & life, we have to guarantee access to health care. Read more: #CoverOurKids 


The Missouri Finish Line Collaborative includes Kids Win Missouri, the Missouri Budget Project, and the Missouri Coalition of Children's Agencies.

For more information, email Casey Hanson at