Study: Health Insurance Improves Children’s Quality of Life
Children enrolled in Healthy Families reported feeling better physically, doing better in school and getting along better with other children, compared with when they first enrolled in the program, according to a RAND study, the Fresno Bee reports. Healthy Families is the state's Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income families.
The study involved 3,438 children ages two to 16 who were enrolled in Healthy Families beginning in 2001. Parents completed surveys about health care use and family characteristics. Parents and children ages five and older also completed a 23-question survey to measure quality of life. The families were interviewed at the time of enrollment and after first and second years of enrollment.
According to the study, about 18% of black parents, 16% of Latino parents and 13% of white parents said at the time of enrollment their children had gone without needed medical care in the previous year. After two years of enrollment, 8% of Latino parents and 6% of both black and white parents reported access problems, researchers found.
The study also found that children who received prompt health care scored eight points higher in a quality-of-life survey.
Michael Seid, a psychologist and lead author of the study, said he hopes the study will be used when Healthy Families is considered for federal reauthorization next year (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 9/8).