American Academy of Pediatrics: Number of U.S. Children Without Enough Health Insurance Increased 11.1% From 2016-2019
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)
ITASCA, Illinois, Dec. 7 (TNSJou) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics issued the following news release:
From 2016 to 2019, the number of children who lacked adequate health insurance in the U.S. increased by 2.4 million kids, up 11.1%, according to a study, "Underinsurance among Children in the United States," in the January 2022 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 6). Researchers analyzed the 2016-19 National Survey of Children's Health, conducted annually by the US Census Bureau, and found of the 73.3 million U.S. children ages 17 or younger in 2016-2019, just over two-thirds (67.6%) had adequate and continuous health insurance coverage. Almost one-third - 23.7 million children - were underinsured.
The study attributed the change to increasing out-of-pocket medical expenses and rising underinsurance among children traditionally viewed as socioeconomically advantaged - white children living in middle-income households with high parental educational attainment who were privately insured.
Children with private health insurance, including health insurance from a family member's job, were over three times as likely to be underinsured than children with public only insurance, like Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The study defined underinsurance as having insurance that didn't meet the child's health care needs, allow the child to see needed providers and came with unreasonably high out-of-pocket expenses. Researchers concluded that further efforts to reform the child health insurance system are necessary to curb this increasing problem.