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HEALTH SERVICES FINANCING AND UTILIZATION

The availability of, and access to, quality health care directly affects the health of mothers and children, especially those at high risk due to chronic medical conditions or low socioeconomic status.

Children may receive health coverage through private insurance purchased by their parents or their parents’ employers; or public programs, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Eligibility for these programs is based on a family’s income compared to the Federal Poverty Level, which was $18,100 for a family of four in 2002. Every State has implemented a CHIP program, expanding coverage to many uninsured children. Outreach and consumer education are key components of the expansion in health insurance for children. Despite the progress achieved through public programs such as Medicaid and CHIP, approximately 8.5 million children remain uninsured in the U.S.

This section presents data on the utilization of health services within the maternal and child population. The most recent data are summarized by source of payment, type of care, and place of service delivery. Data are presented by age, income, race and ethnicity: