Coverage Gaps in Health Insurance Coverage Affect Children’s Care, Study Finds
Twenty percent of children who lacked health care coverage for at least part of the year postponed medical care, compared to 16% of uninsured children and 4% covered by a public or private provider, according to a study published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the AP/Orange County Register reports. The study, conducted by researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics, was based on data from a national health survey administered in 2000 and 2001. Researchers estimated that about 7% of U.S. children were uninsured and 8% lacked coverage for part of the year. According to the report, about four out of five children with gaps in health care coverage have parents who work and two-thirds lived with both parents. The report found that among children who experienced gaps in health care coverage:
- One-third were in preschool;
- 61% lived with both parents; and
- 82% lived with at least one working parent.
Lynn Olson, lead researcher in the study, said, "There is an oversimplified view of what is uninsured," adding, "We should be measuring who is uninsured in multiple ways in order to understand what the true burden is."
Glenn Flores, director of the Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said that the study "really calls attention to an important group of children we often don't consider" (AP/Orange County Register, 7/27). An abstract of the study is available online. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.