KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The number of children without insurance in Tennessee has dropped to 2.3% for 2022 according to a new study by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This is the lowest reported percentage since 2018 and marks the second straight year that the rate of uninsured children has dropped.

In addition, the study found that the overall percentage of uninsured Tennesseans is trending downward toward pre-pandemic levels. For 2022, 7.5% of Tennesseans are uninsured. According to the study authors, this means more than 42,000 people have gained health care coverage since 2021.

(Graph via Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research)

The study, co-authored by Professor of Accounting LeAnn Luna and Boyd Center Senior Research Associate Emily Pratt, examines the health coverage status of Tennessee residents, the use of medical facilities and satisfaction with medical services received based on a telephone and online survey of approximately 5,000 households conducted between May and July 2022.

The study also looked at how happy TennCare recipients are with the program’s quality of care. It found that 95% of recipients are happy, marking the 14th year where TennCare’s satisfaction exceeded 90%. In addition, survey participants share how happy they are with the care of their children: 85% of all heads of household and 83% of TennCare heads of household reported excellent or good care.

“The continued high satisfaction rate from our TennCare members reflects the strong partnership with our TennCare providers and our shared commitment to improve lives through high-quality cost-effective care,” said TennCare director Stephen Smith.

The  Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research has conducted the survey annually since 1993 under a contract with the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.