The Number Of Uninsured Wyoming Children Increases

Jun 18, 2019

The Kids County Data Book is produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation on an annual basis.
Credit Annie E. Casey Foundation

Health insurance coverage has increased for kids in 45 states since 2010, and 95 percent of kids in the United States are insured. But that's not the case in Wyoming.

The 2019 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation estimates that 10 percent of Wyoming kids don't have health insurance. That's twice the national average.

The report looks at 16 measures in four categories, and offers state-by-state comparisons, as well as a comparison between 2010 and 2017.

The Wyoming Community Foundation partners with Kids Count to disseminate the data book in Wyoming. Samin Dadelahi, the foundation's chief operating officer, said Wyoming scores well on education, economic well-being, as well as family and community. But the state doesn't do as well when it comes to health.

"Wyoming isn't comparing that well. We have double the percentage of uninsured children, and a higher number of child and teen deaths per 100,000 and a higher percentage of teens abusing alcohol and drugs," said Dadelahi.

Wyoming is second to last in the nation when it comes to health outcomes for kids. In contrast, Wyoming ranks 14th when it comes to education. Dadelahi said that's because it's an area where lawmakers have invested resources.

"In 1990, the percent of eighth graders who scored below proficient in math was 81 percent. By 2017 that figure had moved to 62 percent, and that proved that incremental gains over time really add up," said Dadelahi.

Wyoming scored 21st overall for child well-being according to the report. Dadelahi said she hopes the successes and struggles reflected in Kids Count Data Book help to start a conversation about how to best support Wyoming children.