The United States has reached a milestone when it comes to making sure that all children have health insurance, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
It shows 95 percent of the nation's children are covered and Illinois is one of the top states.
Andrea Kovach, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, says the state has taken advantage of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, along with the navigator and enrollment assistance dollars, and that's helped families sign up for health insurance.
"They've been able to enroll at churches and libraries and community centers," she points out. "There's been more enrollment fairs.
"Every year that Illinois has taken advantage of those opportunities, it means another drop in the uninsured rate for children. "
Between 2013 and 2015 the number of uninsured children in Illinois dropped from 125,000 to 75,000.
Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, says the milestone can be attributed to health care reform.
"There's just been so much activity in this area with new coverage options thanks to the Affordable Care Act that for kids it's really allowed them to build on the success we already had from Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)," she states
Kovach says Illinois has shown a commitment to its children but there's still more work to be done.
"We need to continue to make sure that there's in-person enrollment assistance in the languages that families in these communities speak," she states. "And we need to just continue protecting and supporting this long standing and bipartisan commitment that we have to make sure families are covered in Illinois. "
Illinois has one of the lowest uninsured rates for children, at 2.5 percent. The national average is nearly 5 percent.