Children’s Receipt of Health Care Services and Family Health Insurance Patterns

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Annals of Family Medicine

This report examines the relationship between parents’ health care coverage and the coverage, or lack thereof, of their children, showing that insured children of uninsured parents are more likely to have unmet health care needs than the insured children of insured parents.

The study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine – a research journal aimed at advancing knowledge to improve health and primary care – showed 73.6 percent of 2- to 17-year-olds living with at least one parent who responded to a survey between 2002 and 2006 were insured with insured parents, while 8 percent were uninsured with uninsured parents. The remaining 18.4 percent of children fit into the “discordant family insurance coverage patterns” category.

This last group included households in which one parent was insured and one was not, and homes where the children were insured but the parents were not. Among the increased risks for children in the discordant coverage category were higher odds of not having seen a doctor in the past year, compared with insured children of insured parents, and higher odds of less than one yearly dental visit.

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