Written by Stefanie Marty
A recent study showed that children with health insurance coverage in families where parents are uninsured are at greater risk of missing necessary health-care services than children in families where both children and parents are insured. The study incorporated children between the age of 2 and 17 and included more than 43,000 children over five years. The necessary services which these children are more likely to miss include seeing a doctor, getting dental care and accessing prescription medications. Further they also receive less counseling on healthy eating, routine exercise, use of a safety or booster seat, and use of seatbelts or bike helmets.
These findings show the necessity of not only extending health insurance to children, but parents as well. Dr. Jennifer E. DeVoe, the lead author of the study, said, that the children’s health insurance program is going in the right direction and more and more kids are getting insurance coverage, but the importance is not to stop now. It is crucial that families, kids as well as parents, are covered.
This necessity is also shown by the Commonwealth Fund Commission, which released its second state scorecard report. The report revealed that since 2007 health insurance coverage across states for adults has declined while the coverage for children increased.
One way health insurance for uninsured children is offered is by states that have in place federally approved programs. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) provides health insurance coverage to uninsured children up to age 19. SCHIP is a state administered program and the guidelines on eligibility and services are set by the participating states. It is possible that families who do not qualify for Medicaid, because they earn too much, qualify for SCHIP. The insurance provided by the SCHIP pays for doctor visits, immunizations, hospitalization and emergency room visits.Source 1