By MEGAN HALL
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – About 124,000 Rhode islanders went without health insurance last year, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It's the Ocean State's highest number of uninsured residents in more than a decade.
Rhode Island's number of uninsured residents increased by about three thousand people from 2008 to 2009. That's almost double the number of people without health insurance a decade ago.
And more children in the state are not covered by insurance. The state used to rank second in the nation for children with insurance. It now ranks 19. Jill Beckwith with Rhode Island Kids count says that's not the Ocean State's fault.
"I have to say, that is being driven by our poor economy, not really our lack of commitment to children's health coverage," Beckwith says. "I think where you see the change in the rankings is other states are doing much better than they have been."
Beckwith encourages families without coverage to look into Rite Care, the state's health insurance program for kids and low-income families.