Children without Health Insurance

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Why This Indicator Matters

Children who are covered by insurance are more likely to have a regular health care provider, and to receive care when they need it. Parents of children without coverage may be forced to delay or forego seeking treatment for their children’s health issues. Uninsured children who do receive treatment are more likely to do so after conditions have worsened. A 2009 analysis of two well-known large inpatient databases found that children who were hospitalized without insurance have significantly increased all-cause in-hospital mortality as compared to those who are insured. [i] New research suggests that parent mentorship programs which assist families in enrolling in health insurance coverage, accessing care, and mitigating some of the social determinants of health, can be effective in increasing the health insurance enrollment among Hispanic and Latino children, who have the highest rate of childhood uninsurance nationwide. [ii]



[i]   Fizan Abdullah, et al., “Analysis of 23 Million US Hospitalizations: Uninsured Children Have Higher All-Cause In-Hospital Mortality,” Journal of Public Health 32, no. 2 (June 2010): 236-44.

[ii] Flores, G., Lin, H., Walker, C., Lee, M., Currie, J., Allgeyer, R., ... & Massey, K. (2018). Parent Mentoring Program Increases Coverage Rates For Uninsured Latino Children. Health Affairs37(3), 403-412.

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Definitions:

This indicator reports the total number and percentage of children under the age of 18 who have no health insurance coverage. Health insurance coverage includes employer-based and direct-purchase insurance, as well as Medicare/means-tested public coverage, TRICARE/Military health coverage, and VA Health Care.

Data Source:

U.S. Census Bureau, 2011-2015 and 2012-2016 American Community Survey Estimates, Table B27010. Please note that data for this indicator are only available from 2013 onward.

Footnotes:

Methodology: The total numbers of children under 18 with no health insurance were divided by the total numbers of children under 18. Counts of 6 or fewerexcluding zerowere suppressed, as were percentages generated from suppressed counts.

* = suppressed count  a = percentage derived from a suppressed count