FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A new health report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows more kids in Arkansas are going without health insurance than almost any other state in the country.

The report released Monday, June 21 shows Arkansas ranked 41st in the country when it came to kids without health insurance in 2019. That is an increase of about 9,000 kids just from 2018, making for about 43,000 Arkansas kids without health insurance in 2019.

While this is the most recent data, Laura Kellams with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said she is concerned these numbers have only gotten worse over the last year.

“When we see the numbers that reflect what actually changed in the pandemic, we have some concerns that even more kids lost health coverage during the pandemic,” she said. “So, we have a lot of work to do as a state and community to make sure every child who can be covered is.”

Kellams adds that changes in federal and state policies in the last four to five years may contribute to lack of kids covered by health insurance because it appears many families are not aware of medicaid for kids, also known as ARKids First.