Underinsurance among children in the United States

Authors, Primary Kogan,M. D.;Newacheck,P. W.;Blumberg,S. J.;Ghandour,R. M.;Singh,G. K.;Strickland,B. B.;van Dyck,P. C.
Title Primary Underinsurance among children in the United States
Periodical Full New England Journal of Medicine
Pub Year 2010
Volume 363
issue 9
Start Page 841-851
Abstract BACKGROUND: Recent interest in policy regarding children's health insurance has focused on expanding coverage. Less attention has been devoted to the question of whether insurance sufficiently meets children's needs. METHODS: We estimated underinsurance among U.S. children on the basis of data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (sample size, 91,642 children) regarding parents' or guardians' judgments of whether their children's insurance covered needed services and providers and reasonably covered costs. Data on adequacy were combined with data on continuity of insurance coverage to classify children as never insured during the past year, sometimes insured during the past year, continuously insured but inadequately covered (i.e., underinsured), and continuously insured and adequately covered. We examined the association between this classification and five overall indicators of health care access and quality: delayed or forgone care, difficulty obtaining needed care from a specialist, no preventive care, no developmental screening at a preventive visit, and care not meeting the criteria of a medical home. RESULTS: We estimated that in 2007, 11 million children were without health insurance for all or part of the year, and 22.7% of children with continuous insurance coverage--14.1 million children--were underinsured. Older children, Hispanic children, children in fair or poor health, and children with special health care needs were more likely to be underinsured. As compared with children who were continuously and adequately insured, uninsured and underinsured children were more likely to have problems with health care access and quality. CONCLUSIONS: The number of underinsured children exceeded the number of children without insurance for all or part of the year studied. Access to health care and the quality of health care are suboptimal for uninsured and underinsured children. (Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.)
Publisher Not Available
Place of Publication United States
Author/Address Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD 20857, USA. mkogan@hrsa.gov
PubMed Link
Reference Type(s) Journal Article
Topic Tag(s) Access to Care;Disparities
Special Population(s) Children with Special Needs;Children without Special Needs
Case Study No
Commentary/Opinion Piece No
Historical Publication No
Key/Foundational Article No
Literature Review No
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