Low income children under age 19 without health insurance in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Having health insurance is important for individual families for several reasons. Uninsured people receive less medical care and less timely care, they have worse health outcomes, and lack of insurance is a fiscal burden for them and their families. When the uninsured do have to seek medical treatment, often costs are borne by hospitals providing free care and eventually these costs are passed on resulting in higher health costs for everyone.Children with incomes below 200% of poverty are leigible for MaineCare in Maine.
For more information see:  Urban Institute- Why Having Health Insurance Is Important

What the data shows
For 2017, the rate of uninsured among children in low income families in Maine was 7.0% overall, up from 6.4% the previous year. The rate varies by counties. Approximately  5.3% of low income children in are uninsured in Androscoggin County and 5.4% in Kennebec County compared to 10.5% in Lincoln County and 9.6% in Hancock County and 9.4% in Cumberland County.

For the state as a whole, the rate of uninsured has fluctuated, but the years 2010 and 2016 were the two lowest rates of uninsured low income children at 6.4% and in 2006 the rate was 10.9% statewide.
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Definitions: Children under age 19 who were not covered by health insurance at any point during the year and whose family income was less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).The numerator is children ages 0 - 18 who are low income and did not have health insurance at some point in time and the denominator is all children in families at or below 200% of the poverty line. The 2017 federal poverty threshold was $24,858 for a family of two adults and two children, so a family of four earning less than $49,716 was considered low income.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) program produces timely estimates for all counties and states by detailed demographic and income groups. The SAHIE program produces single-year estimates of health insurance coverage for every county in the U.S. The estimates are model-based and consistent with the American Community Survey (ACS). They are based on an "area-level" model that uses survey estimates for domains of interest, rather than individual responses. The estimates are "enhanced" with administrative data, within a Hierarchical Bayesian framework.

Data Source:

Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) for counties and states


The SAHIE program models health insurance coverage by combining survey data from several sources, including:

The American Community Survey (ACS)
Demographic population estimates
Aggregated federal tax returns
Participation records for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program
County Business Patterns
Medicaid
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) participation records

Footnotes: Updated April 2019.