In this brief, we assess uninsurance among mothers and fathers living with young children from birth to age 5 using National Health Interview Survey data. More than 4 million parents living with young children—2.2 million mothers and 2.2 million fathers—were uninsured in 2017–18, representing a 40 percent decline in uninsurance since 2013, following implementation of the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Though fathers living with young children were more likely to be uninsured than mothers, both mothers and fathers living with young children who were Hispanic, noncitizens, living in the South, lacking a high school diploma, or in a family with low income faced uninsurance rates greater than 20 percent. Many uninsured parents living with young children also reported problems affording needed health care, low levels of health care use, and concerns about affording other basic needs.
Though thousands of new mothers gained insurance coverage following implementation of the coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, there has been little documentation of changes in their health care access and affordability.
Between 2013 and 2016, children’s uninsurance fell, their Medicaid/CHIP participation rate rose, and the number of children eligible for Medicaid/CHIP but uninsured declined, according to American Community Survey data.