Report: Lancaster has highest rate of uninsured children in Pennsylvania

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children released a report Tuesday about children’s health care. In it, Lancaster County is reported to have the highest rate of uninsured children in the state at 16 percent, almost 22,000 kids.

“There’s a lot of Amish residing in Lancaster County and they typically don’t rely on insurance; they’re private pay. But another element that I think is really critical is there’s a large population of Hispanic children,” said Karu King, the president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

To reach more Hispanic people, King says there needs to be more documents in Spanish. In addition to the language barrier, there is another reason for the gap in coverage, according to the Lancaster Health Center.

“Over the last couple years, there’s been a lack of outreach and enrollment and education throughout the United States, especially in Lancaster County, so it’s been hard to reach the populations that we want to reach and help them get insurance,” said Emily DiCola, a medical social worker at Lancaster Health Center.

Pennsylvania’s average of uninsured kids is below the national average of 4.4 percent. However, the state’s youngest kids tend to be left out more frequently.

“Which is a little bit different than what you see nationwide. Typically older children are less likely to be insured, and we’re the opposite in Pennsylvania,” King said.

The group strives to stress the importance of insurance even more than they currently do.

“It’s such an important foundation for the rest of their development. For example, if kids aren’t healthy, they’re not going to do as well in school,” King said.

This year’s report was stated to be the most comprehensive report released so far by the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

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