The recently released 2018 Montana Kids Count data book shows that the number of uninsured children continues to drop.

Thale Dillon with the UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research provided more details from the newly released study made possible by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“The healthy Montana kids enrollment continues to go up and up, meaning that we have fewer and fewer kids that are not insured,” said Dillon. “This makes a big difference in the overall health of our children. We have teen and child death rates that are going down at a good rate, which also means that the suicide rate is going down slightly, traffic deaths that are going down, teen birth rates are going down, smoking during pregnancy is going down, so there are is much good news to celebrate.”

Dillon compared health rates in previous years to the most recent reports.

“The percentage of children aged five and under that do not have health insurance went from 14 percent in 2010 to 2016 when it was only four percent,” she said. “The child death rate was 32.3 deaths per 100,000 children in the 2008 to 2010 period, however the 2014 to 2016 period it was down to 24.2 which is a drop of almost 30 percent.”

Dillon said the messaging directed at children throughout the past decade about drug abuse, smoking and drinking and driving has gotten through to the current generation, leading to better health outcomes.

The Montana KIDS COUNT book is available here.