Drop in children's health insurance coverage worries doctors and advocates

Staff photo by Tim Barber Dr. K. Rodney Arnold, MD, works in her Clinica Medicos office on East 23rd Street. Mindy Perez works at the desk, at left.

For the first time in a decade, the gap between health insurance coverage for Latino children and non-Latino children is growing, something medical experts said will have negative short- and long-term impacts for families in Chattanooga.

The new data is according to a report released in March by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and UnidosUS, the nation's largest Latino nonprofit advocacy organization. There were nearly 1.6 million uninsured Latino children in the United States in 2018, making them twice as likely to be uninsured as non-Latino children.

Across the country, Latino children are disproportionately affected by lack of insurance coverage - they make up 25% of all U.S. children but nearly 40% of all uninsured children. Two states - Georgia and Texas - account for more than 60% of the drop in coverage, according to the report.