Number of Uninsured Children Declines
The percentage of children without health insurance decreased by more than 20% from 1997 to 2004, according to a report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
For the study, researchers combined survey results from two periods of time -- 1997 to 1998 and 2003 to 2004 -- and then compared them. The data come from census figures by the State Health Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota. According to the researchers, the decline in rates of uninsured children is attributable to SCHIP, which has been available in every state since 1997.
The program covers those children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance. Researchers found that the percentage of children with private health insurance declined in nearly every state, but the percentage with SCHIP coverage or Medicaid increased in all but four states: Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Tennessee. Declines in those states were not statistically significant.
Researchers found that eight million children still go without any health insurance, and about 70% of those children are eligible for coverage. The study finds that one in four children without health insurance receives no medical care each year, compared with one in eight children with health insurance (Mulvihill, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/9).
The report is available online. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.