Health insurance can provide an essential link to
critical preventive health services as well as acute
care in the case of illness or injury. In 2000, 8.4
million children, or 11.6 percent of children under
age 18, had no health insurance, a decrease of 16
percent since 1999. The rise in health insurance rates
among children is attributable to both the strong
economy of the late 1990s and the expansion of coverage
to low-income children under the Children's
Health Insurance Program (CHIP) implemented in 1997.
By the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2001, 4.6 million
children were enrolled in CHIP.
The statistics presented here paint a picture of
continuing progress toward the goal of healthy children
and families, but we still have a long way to go in
many areas. While the problem of injury among children
is a serious one, most injuries are preventable. By
monitoring the health of children throughout their
lives, we can identify opportunities for prevention.
It is hoped that the data in this book will be one
source of the information needed by policymakers,
program planners, and the public to improve the health
and safety of children.