Adequacy of Health Insurance Coverage
While the majority of children in the United States have health insurance coverage, it may not always be adequate to meet their health and medical needs. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health asked parents of insured children three questions about the services and costs associated with their child’s health insurance. Parents were asked whether out-of-pocket costs were reasonable, whether the child’s health insurance covered services that met the child’s needs, and whether their health insurance allowed them to see the health care providers they needed.
Children were considered to have adequate health insurance coverage if their parent answered “usually” or “always” to each of these three questions. Overall, 23.5 percent of currently insured children lacked adequate insurance. Older children were more likely than younger children to lack adequate coverage: 26.3 percent of children aged 12- 17 and 25.2 percent of those aged 6-11 years were reported to lack adequate insurance, compared to 19.2 percent of children aged 0-5 years.
The percentage of children lacking adequate health insurance coverage also varied by household income. Currently insured children with incomes below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and more than 400 percent of FPL were least likely to lack adequate coverage (20.1 and 21.1 percent, respectively). In comparison, 26.9 percent of children with household incomes of 201-400 percent of FPL and 25.1 percent of those with incomes of 101-200 percent of FPL lacked adequate insurance.