A recent study looked at how kids in the United States get healthcare. It found that around 1 out of 5 kids don’t have good health insurance that covers what they need and isn’t too expensive.
Researchers from Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and Vanderbilt University did the study between 2016 and 2021. They looked at over 200,000 kids and found that 34.5 percent had insurance from the government, and 65.5 percent had company insurance.
The study checked if kids had problems with their insurance in the past year, like not always having it or having parts missing. It also checked if the insurance gave enough benefits, let them see a doctor when needed, and had reasonable costs to pay every year.
Only 4.2 percent of kids with government insurance and 1.4 percent with company insurance had problems with their coverage. Kids with government insurance had fewer issues with insufficient coverage—12.2 percent compared to 33 percent for kids with company insurance.
Most kids, no matter their insurance, said they usually or always could see a doctor when needed.
The main difference between government and company insurance was how much money families had to pay yearly. About 92.2 percent of kids with government insurance had reasonable costs, but only 67.6 percent of kids with company insurance felt the same way. Shockingly, 31.3 percent of kids with company insurance thought their yearly costs were “never” reasonable.
The study found that during the COVID-19 emergency, things got better for how often government and company insurance worked well. But now that the emergency is over and the rules are changing, over 5 million kids might lose their insurance.
The researchers say we need to pay more attention and money to make insurance better for kids. They suggest some excellent ideas that some states can do, like a rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that lets kids have continuous insurance for 12 months. Right now, only 23 states are doing this. The study shows how important it is to ensure all kids nationwide keep getting good healthcare coverage.
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